Joergen Oland was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference preseason team. (Photo courtesy of Fordham SID)

With the regular season set to open next week, Fordham University was selected to finish in fifth place in the 10-team Atlantic 10 Conference in the coaches’ preseason poll, it was announced Thursday.

Three teams earned first-place votes, beginning with Virginia Commonwealth University as the preseason favorite with eight first-place votes and 159 points. St. Louis University was picked second with two first-place votes and 146 points, while defending conference champion Rhode Island was in the third slot with three first-place votes and 142 points.

Dayton was picked fourth with Fordham, led by new head coach Carlo Acquista, was selected in the fifth slot. Davidson, George Mason, and Saint Joseph’s round out the first eight spots.

The rest of the poll included Massachusetts in ninth, followed by Duquesne, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, and La Salle.

The top eight teams in the regular season will qualify for the 2019 Atlantic 10 Championship. Quarterfinal match-ups will be played at campus sites with the semifinals and championship final taking place at Fordham’s Jack Coffey Field, November 15 and 17.

This is the first time that Fordham will play host to the Atlantic 10 men’s soccer championship, having previously hosted part of the women’s basketball championship (opening round), as well as the entire cross country (once), softball (four times) and baseball (four times).

Fordham senior defender Joergen Oland (Drammen, Norway) was named to the preseason All-Conference team for the third consecutive year.

Oland, who was on the preseason Hermann Award Watch List, was the 2018 Atlantic 10 defensive player of the Year and a first team conference selection as a junior, after garnering second team honors as a sophomore. He also was named United Soccer Coaches first team All-Southeast Region last season, after earning third team All-Midwest honors in 2017.

Oland helped the Fordham defense post a 0.95 goals-against average last season to go with six shutouts. He also tied his career-high with five goals, which was good for second on the Rams, while his 10 points were third on the squad. He was also named Atlantic 10 offensive player of the week once.

Fordham opens its season with two games over Labor Day Weekend. The year begins with a game at Hofstra University Friday, August 30, followed by a Labor Day match-up at NJIT Monday, Sept. 2.

2019 Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll
Rank Team Pts. (1st Place Votes)
1. VCU 1959(8)
2. Saint Louis 146 (2)
3. Rhode Island 124 (3)
4. Dayton 121
5. Fordham 109
6. Davidson 102
7. George Mason 93
8. Saint Joseph’s 78
9. Massachusetts 63
10. Duquesne 57
11. George Washington 55
12. St. Bonaventure 42
13. La Salle 16