Despite a first-place finish in the regular season last year, the CAA projected in its annual preseason poll that the Dukes will fall to third. While they finished atop the conference with a 5-1-2 standing, the Dukes were eliminated in the semifinals of the 2017 CAA Championships, falling to eventual champion William & Mary. The Tribe also starts the 2018 season as the projected favorites to win the conference.
Rising junior midfielder Manuel Ferriol was named to the Preseason All-CAA Team, after a season in which he led the Dukes in goals (seven), points (14), total shots (44) and shots on goal (18). As he mans the middle of the field, Ferriol’s performance will have a direct correlation to the program’s success in 2018.
Receiving all but one first-place votes, the Tribe was awarded 64 points. Just behind are the UNCW Seahawks, who received 56 points — nine more than JMU — and Hofstra, who rounded out the top four with 43 total points.
JMU will commence its 2018 regular season against Gardner-Webb on Aug. 24 as part of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott JMU Invitational. First whistle is set for 7 p.m.
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