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Huskies pulling their weight in NCAA

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Ives Galarcep

Ives Galarcep is a 14-year veteran of the American soccer beat. He created and operates the popular American soccer blog, Soccer By Ives, which was voted Best American Soccer Blog by US Soccer in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Ives was also voted Best Football Writer by SoccerLens in 2010. 
 

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When the 2011 college season began, Louisville was the Big East team lauded as an NCAA title favorite. While the Cardinals are still one of the best teams in the nation, a new Big East team is carrying the label of team to beat.

The UConn Huskies moved into the top spot in the FOX Soccer Top 25 after another perfect week. The Huskies disposed of Boston College, 2-0, to post a fourth straight shutout and stay perfect on the season. Maryland dropped a spot after registering the first blemish on its record in a scoreless draw against Seton Hall on Tuesday.

While UConn may be the top team right now, it's tough to find a more in-form player than UCLA striker Chandler Hoffmann. The Bruins junior hit a stretch where he scored seven goals in his six games, helping UCLA climb back into the Top Ten after a slow start to the season. He also became just the third Bruin to ever score in five straight matches.

Hoffman may be scoring for fun, but one team not allowing anybody to score these days is St. John’s. The Red Storm climbed to No. 11 in the latest Top 25 after posting their sixth consecutive shutout of the season. St. John’s managed to contain Indiana’s high-powered offense in a scoreless draw before handing Iona its first loss of the season. Led by senior defender Connor Lade, the Red Storm look ready to give UConn and Louisville problems in the Big East.

St. John’s will be taking on UConn on Saturday in the top match-up of the upcoming week. Other matches to watch include Notre Dame hosting Louisville on Saturday and West Virginia taking on South Florida on Sunday. Louisville must first defeat Ohio State tonight, while unbeaten Creighton faces a stiff test against Kentucky tonight as well.

Here is this week’s Fox Soccer Top 25

NCAA MEN’S SOCCER TOP 25

(Previous ranking in parentheses, records through Tuesday)

1. (2) UConn (7-0)
2. (1) Maryland (6-0-1)
3. (3) North Carolina (6-1)
4. (4) Louisville (5-1)
5. (7) Creighton (6-0)
6. (6) Akron (4-0-2)
7. (8) Indiana (5-0-2)
8. (9) Boston College (5-2)
9. (11) UCLA (4-2-1)
10. (5) UCSB (4-1-1)
11. (14) St. John’s (5-1-1)
12. (13) Notre Dame (4-1-2)
13. (10) Penn State (5-1-1)
14. (18) West Virginia (4-2-1)
15. (17) Central Florida (6-0-1)
16. (20) Old Dominion (4-0)
17. (15) South Florida (4-2-1)
18. (16) UC-Irvine (7-1)
19. (NR) New Mexico (4-0-2)
20. (25) Washington (3-0-2)
21. (12) Ohio State (4-2-1)
22. (21) Northern Illinois (6-1)
23. (NR) UNC-Charlotte (6-1)
24. (NR) Furman (6-1-1)
T25. (NR) East Tennessee State (6-1)
T25. (22) Coastal Carolina (5-2)

HONORABLE MENTION: Kentucky, UAB, Virginia, Iona, Memphis, Bradley, Monmouth, Cal-State Fullerton, Cal-State Bakersfield, Xavier

Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for FOXSoccer.com covering Major League Soccer and the US National Team.

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