KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Washington and Lee men's soccer program recently received a preseason ranking in the United Soccer Coaches (Formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association of America) 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Rankings.
The Generals are ranked 24th in the preseason after completing the 2016 season with a 15-5-2 overall record. W&L went 7-1-1 in conference play and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, where it advanced to the second round.
Defending National Champion Tufts (15-5-2) leads the 2017 preseason ranking and is followed by Calvin (23-3), St. Thomas (20-2-3), Brandeis (13-6-4) and Kenyon (20-3) in the Top 5. Fellow ODAC member Lynchburg is 19th in the poll.
W&L welcomes back eight players who started a majority of the team's 22 games a season ago, including junior midfielder Dylan Ritch (Mint Hill, N.C. / Independence), who earned the ODAC Player of the Year award in 2016. Ritch started all 22 games and led the team with 30 points on 12 goals and six assists.
The Generals return each of their top four scorers, a list that also includes sophomore defender Oliver Dolberg (Clovis, Calif. / Buchanan), who was a First Team All-ODAC selection after totaling five goals and one assist. Senior goalkeeper Gillen Beck (Blacksburg, Va. / Blacksburg) is back after receiving Second Team All-ODAC accolades a year ago, while senior midfielder Kevin Molnar (Mendham, N.J. / Delbarton School) and junior midfielder Will Hamryka (Dawsonville, Ga. / Greater Atlanta Christian School) are also back after being tabbed to the all-conference second-team in 2016.
W&L will be looking to make its third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it opens the 2017 campaign on Sep. 1-2 in a tournament at Christopher Newport. The Generals begin with a 5:00 pm game against Greensboro on Sep. 1 and then take on the 21st-ranked Captains on Sep. 2 at 7:30 pm.