Defending national champion North Carolina is the near-unanimous pick to win the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference title, as determined by a vote of the league's 11 head coaches. In addition, it marks
the second year in a row that UNC, Florida State and Virginia have been predicted to finish as the top three teams in the league, respectively.
The Tar Heels, who captured their
second-straight ACC Championship and 17th overall title in 2006, return 20 letterwinners from last year's squad that claimed its 18th NCAA crown and finished the season with an overall record of
27-1-0, including a perfect 10-0-0 mark in league play. Despite the loss of Soccer America Player of the Year Heather O'Reilly
to graduation, the Tar Heels
boast several All-ACC performers among their returning starters including ACC Offensive Player of the Year Yael Averbuch
and Jessica Maxwell
, Tobin Heath
and Nikki Washington
Despite heavy losses, Florida State should
be solid. The Seminoles, who went 18-4-4 overall and 5-2-3 in league action in 2006, return 13 letterwinners and six starters including All-American Katrin
and Japanese midfielder Mami Yamaguchi
. Last season, Florida State returned to the College Cup for the second year in a row and third time in
the last four years.
Virginia returns 18 letterwinners and eight starters for the second straight year. Back in the lineup for the Cavaliers include All-Americans Becky Sauerbrunn
and Jess Rostedt
and all-conference pick Nikki Krzysik
Completing the preseason poll in order of projected finish are Boston College (86), Duke (74), Wake Forest (73), Clemson (60), Virginia Tech (36), Maryland (35), N.C. State (26) and Miami (23).