RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Women's Soccer team was tabbed second in the Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason Poll, the league announced Wednesday. In addition, forward junior Samantha Jerabek (Rockville, Maryland) and midfielder senior Alyssa Tallent (Woodbridge, Va.) were named to the preseason All-Conference Team.
The Rams received 176 points behind Saint Louis who was at the top of the table and received 192 points with 13 first place votes. George Mason (163), Saint Joseph's (161) and University of Massachusetts (135) round out the top five.
Last season, VCU finished with an impressive 16-4 overall mark and a 9-1 A-10 record. The Rams return eight starters from last year's A-10 Tournament runner-up squad and add seven talented players to the 2019 roster. In addition to Tallent and Jerabek, the Rams return sophomore defender Lana Golob (Recica ob Paki, Slovenia) who earned second team All A-10 honors last season.
Jerabek returns after a season in which she played and started in all 20 matches. She was an incredible offensive threat, scoring a team high 11 goals and dishing out a team high seven assists. When the squad needed a goal, Jerabek produced, scoring four game winners. She scored two goals against High Point to propel VCU to a 3-1 win and scored the late winner against Massachusetts. Jerabek was named to the Atlantic 10 All Conference First Team and United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Region for her efforts last season.
Senior leader Alyssa Tallent played and started in 12 matches last season. The A-10 Second Team and United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Region honoree scored four goals and was credited five assists last season. Tallent scored two goals in VCU's 4-0 victory on the road at Dayton and scored the go-ahead goal to boost the Rams to a 3-1 victory over Davidson.
The Rams kick off their 2019 season Thursday, Aug. 22 at High Point at 7 p.m. The home opener at Sports Backer Stadium is Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. against Loyola.
ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL (First place votes in parenthesis)
1-Saint Louis 192 (13)
3-George Mason 163 (1)
4-Saint Joseph's 161
8-La Salle 98
9-George Washington 97
13-St. Bonaventure 28
14-Rhode Island 26