The United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll was released on Thursday, and the Tar Heel men’s team is ranked fourth in the country. Carolina is coming off a successful season in which they lost to Stanford in the Final Four of the College Cup after a heartbreaking 10 rounds of penalty kicks.
Wake Forest is the only ACC team ranked ahead of the Tar Heels at No. 2, but several other conference teams appear in the poll. Clemson is just behind UNC at No. 5, Syracuse, Louisville, and Notre Dame appear at No. 8, No. 9, and No. 10, respectfully, Virginia is ranked 13th, and Virginia Tech rounds out the ACC at 17th.
It’s a strong showing for the conference, which is expected to play a major role in the nation’s top teams throughout the season. The Demon Deacons joined the Heels at the College Cup in Houston last season, and look primed to repeat that again in 2017.
Carolina’s first exhibition game of the season will be played on August 13th against 19th ranked Coastal Carolina. The Heels will be playing their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary while Fetzer Field continues to undergo renovations. The first regular season game is August 25th against 12th ranked Providence at Elon.