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NCAA Top 25 - September 7, 2011

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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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After disposing of nationally-ranked UCLA and Wake Forest in its opening games, Louisville had the look of a team capable of another undefeated regular season.

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At least until North Carolina stepped up to earn a measure of revenge and grab the title of top team in the nation.

Louisville knocked off North Carolina in the 2010 NCAA semifinals courtesy of a last-second goal, but last Sunday it was the Tar Heels that came out victorious, breaking down the vaunted Cardinals defense as standout striker Billy Schuler scored in his third straight match.

Two teams with high expectations in pre-season continued their early-season struggles as UCLA dropped to 0-2-1 on the season and SMU needed a close win against fellow underachievers Duke to avoid also being winless. Both UCLA and SMU remain in our Top 25 despite losing records, but that won’t last long if the sides don’t turn things around as expected.

One team that managed to put together results despite struggling much more than expected was Akron, which settled for a tie and overtime win during a trip to California. The defending NCAA champions are incorporating a plethora of new faces and the early-season growing pains are showing, though Caleb Porter’s squad is still undefeated.

A handful of teams enjoyed dominating weeks to propel their rankings, such as UConn, USCB and South Florida. UConn dismantled California, 4-1, while UCSB traveled to ACC country and posted a pair of impressive road wins to grab hold of the unofficial title of Best Team on the West Coast.

Indiana served notice of its intention of winning the Big Ten with a pair of blowout victories, while Virginia Commonwealth joined a quintet of new teams to crack the Top 25, while traditional powers Duke, Wake Forest and California fell out of the Top 25 after slow starts.

Here is Fox Soccer’s Latest NCAA Top 25:

NCAA MEN’S SOCCER TOP 25

(Previous ranking in parentheses, records through Tuesday)

1. (3) North Carolina (3-0)
2. (4) Maryland (4-0)
3. (7) UConn (3-0)
4. (1) Louisville (2-1)
5. (2) Akron (2-0-1)
6. (8) UCSB (3-0)
7. (6) Creighton (3-0)
8. (10) West Virginia (2-1)
9. (13) South Florida (3-0)
10. (15) Indiana (2-0-1)
11. (14) Virginia (3-1)
12. (11) Notre Dame (1-1-1)
13. (18) Boston College (4-0)
14. (16) Penn State (3-1)
15. (5) UCLA (0-2-1)
16. (17) Ohio State (2-1-1)
17. (22) Monmouth (2-0)
18. (24) Central Florida (3-0)
19. (NR) Virginia Commonwealth (4-0)
20. (NR) UC-Irvine (4-0)
21. (NR) St. John’s (2-1)
22. (19) William & Mary (2-1)
23. (9) SMU (1-2)
24. (NR) Washington (2-0-1)
25. (NR) Northern Illinois (3-0)

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

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