The ACC’s head men’s soccer coaches picked the Virginia Cavaliers to win the conference’s North Region, announced Tuesday. In all, last year’s NCAA runner-up received 9 of 11 North Region first-place votes.
Senior forward Nathaniel Crofts, who tallied six goals (five of them coming as game-winners) and three assists a season ago, was also named to the 2020 ACC Preseason Watch List.
Totaling 59 points in the poll, Virginia was just one of four programs to earn a vote as the conference’s overall champion. Clemson, who was named the preseason favorite, led the way with five votes, followed by Wake Forest (four votes), North Carolina and UVA (each one vote).
Because of COVID-19 and a depleted roster due to those unable to return to campus, Boston College opted out of the upcoming season. The ACC shuffled around the former Atlantic and Coastal Divisions to form a North and South Division, which would be more aptly named as the Carolinas vs. the Rest of the Conference.
North Region: Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech
South Region: Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest
In the North, each school will play each regional opponent once, and will play one of its regional opponents twice in a home-and-away. Virginia’s home-and-away is Virginia Tech. In the South, which only has five teams, each school will play each regional opponent once, and will play two of its regional opponents twice in a home-and-away. Teams won’t meet anyone from the other region until the top four teams in each region head to the ACC Tournament, unless there’s a scheduled exhibition game.
After two exhibition games at home against Clemson and Syracuse on Sept. 11 and 18, respectively, the Hoos’ season will start in earnest on Oct. 3, when they travel to play rival Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
2020 ACC Men’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
Wake Forest (4)
North Carolina (1)
Virginia (9), 59
Pitt (2), 44
Virginia Tech, 35
Notre Dame, 28
Clemson (5), 45
Wake Forest (5), 44
North Carolina (1), 33
NC State, 21
First place votes are in parentheses.
2020 Preseason Watch List
Kimarni Smith, Senior, Forward, Clemson
Jack Doran, Graduate, Midfielder, Duke
Pedro Fonseca, Junior, Forward, Louisville
Alec Smir, Junior, Goalkeeper, North Carolina
George Asomani, Senior, Midfielder, NC State
Jack Lynn, Junior, Forward, Notre Dame
Edward Kizza, Senior, Forward, Pitt
Sondre Norheim, Senior, Defender, Syracuse
Nathaniel Crofts, Senior, Forward, Virginia
Kristo Strickler, Senior, Forward, Virginia Tech
Michael DeShields, Senior, Defender, Wake Forest