RICHMOND – The VCU Men's Soccer Program and Head Coach Dave Giffard earned themselves a solid mark in the Atlantic 10 on Thursday morning, as the Preseason Coaches Poll and Preseason All-Conference Team were announced by the league. The Rams finished strong, picked to finish third in the league, including receiving three first place votes. 

"I'd by lying if I said, that winning the A-10 regular season and conference championships weren't two of our team's goals," said Giffard. "After falling in the last two A-10 finals, and three times in the last five years, we are focused on making the next step and lifting the trophy in November. That has been part of our group's focus from the moment we got on that bus after falling in penalties last November to Fordham." 

Not only were the Rams picked to finish well, but seniors Luc Fatton and Rafael Andrade Santos were selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team. 

VCU is building off another strong season in which they appeared in the Atlantic 10 Conference championship for the second straight year. They finished 8-9-4 overall last season, and 4-3-1 last year in A-10 play. They fell short in the championship final losing to Fordham in a shootout, 3-2, after a hard fought defensive battle. Fatton and Santos, both seniors and preseason All-Conference selections hope to lead the Rams to their first A-10 title.

Earning the top spot in the league was Fordham, who received 162 points and eight first place votes. Picked second was Saint Louis with 153 points and two first place votes. Rounding out the top five behind VCU was Dayton and Rhode Island. 

"Those are just two of many aspirations that this team has however, and they are a long way away," added Giffard. "For now, we remain entrenched in our process and in growing each day to see how good we can be this year. Our first test is Friday night against Oakland, who was picked to win the Horizon League title and will provide an incredibly tough test for us."

The Rams will open their season Friday night at 7 p.m. when they take on Oakland at Sports Backers Stadium. For a complete listing of the poll, click here.