RICHMOND – With a record of 18-6-9 over the past four years in conference play, that included a pair of A-10 Championship Final appearances (2012 & 2015) and NCAA Tournament appearances (2012 & 2013), the VCU Rams and Head Coach Dave Giffard look to continue their momentum as a top program. Retaining a majority of the starting lineup and bringing in some new impact players, the Rams were picked to finish third as revealed in the A-10 Preseason Coaches Poll, released on Wednesday afternoon.
The Black and Gold received a total of 147 votes with two first place votes, placing them behind Saint Louis and Dayton. The top team in the Billikens brought home a total of 153 votes and five first place votes, while the Flyers were close behind with 150 votes and five first place votes as well. Coming in fourth behind the Rams was Rhode Island with 126 votes and one first place vote, with Fordham and George Washington tying for fifth with 110 votes, rounding out the top five.
"Preseason polls don't mean much, but we've competed for the A-10 regular season and tournament titles all four years we have been in the league," said Head Coach Dave Giffard. "So I guess to some extent, the poll is a reflection of that. We haven't won it yet though, and that's certainly a goal our guys have."
Rounding out the poll in order was George Mason, Duquesne, Davidson, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph's, La Salle, and St. Bonaventure.
VCU was also well represented in the individual accolades, as both Jorge Herranz and Rafael Andrade Santos were named to the 2016 Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Team. To go along with the pair of veterans, the Rams also saw newcomers Petros Agiasiotis and Gerald Vargas named to the 2016 Preseason All-Rookie Team.
"It's also nice to have a few guys recognized in preseason as being good players in the minds of the other coaches in the league," said Giffard. "This has the potential to be a fun group if we continue to work and improve every day."
The top eight teams will face off in the 2016 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer Championship, which will be held Nov. 10-13 at Alumni Soccer Stadium in Davidson, N.C.