UConn, UNC dominate the Top 25
The two best teams in the country showed rare signs of vulnerability this past week, but not enough to change up the short list of top championship contenders as we reach the mid-way points of the men’s college soccer season.
UConn was the last team in the country with a perfect record, but the Huskies dropped points for the first time in a scoreless draw against Notre Dame. Maryland saw its unbeaten record broken by Virginia in their rivalry match-up, a win that helped boost the Cavaliers back into the rankings, and allowed North Carolina to edge ahead of the Terrapins into the No. 2 spot in the FOX Soccer NCAA Top 25.
While Maryland fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, two other teams kept up their winning ways to join UConn as the only three remaining unbeaten teams in the country. New Mexico moved up to No. 6 in the latest FOX Soccer Top 25, while Cal-State Bakersfield climbed to No. 16. If those two schools can get through the next week without a loss, they could head into their October 23 showdown as the final two unbeaten teams in the country.
South Florida rode an impressive 3-2 victory against fellow Top 10 side St. John’s to climb up to a place in the top five. With three wins against ranked teams in the past month, the Bulls are suddenly looking like the team most capable of challenging UConn for the Big East title. We’ll find out if South Florida’s conference title hopes are legitimate when the Bulls take on Louisville on Tuesday.
Three new teams entered the Top 25, but it’s three teams who spent the early part of the season near the top half of the rankings. Duke climbed back into the rankings on the strength of a seven-match unbeaten streak. The Blue Devils and NCAA goal-scoring leader Andrew Wenger will look to keep their streak going against mighty Maryland on Friday night.
Virginia also moved back into the Top 25, as did West Virginia, which will look to knock off No. 1 UConn in a key Big East clash on Tuesday.
The Mountaineers-Huskies tilt is just one of the top-quality match-ups headlining the upcoming week of action. A pair of Top Ten battles on Saturday as St. John’s faces Louisville and Creighton takes on UC-Irvine.
Here is the new FOX Soccer NCAA Top 25:
NCAA MEN’S SOCCER TOP 25
(Previous ranking in parentheses, records through Wednesday)
1. (1) UConn (12-0-1)
2. (3) North Carolina (10-1-1)
3. (2) Maryland (12-1-1)
4. (8) Akron (9-1-2)
5. (9) South Florida (8-2-2)
6. (10) New Mexico (9-0-2)
7. (5) Louisville (8-3-1)
8. (6) St. John’s (8-3-2)
9. (4) (5) Creighton (10-2)
10. (12) UC-Irvine (12-2)
11. (13) UCSB (9-3-1)
12. (7) Central Florida (8-1-2)
13. (14) UCLA (9-3-1)
14. (16) Boston College (9-3)
15. (11) Notre Dame (5-3-4)
16. (19) Cal-State Bakersfield (7-0-4)
17. (21) Coastal Carolina (10-2)
18. (15) Indiana (7-3-2)
19. (22) Furman (9-2-3)
20. (NR) West Virginia (7-4-1)
21. (NR) Virginia (8-4)
22. (NR) Duke (7-4-1)
23. (17) Georgetown (8-2-3)
24. (18) James Madison (8-2-1)
25. (23) UNC-Charlotte (8-2-1)
Iona (11-1), SMU (7-4-1), Xavier (8-2-3), Monmouth (8-3), Northern Illinois (8-4)
Washington (6-3-2), Old Dominion (8-2), San Diego State (8-2-2), Wisconsin (6-4-2)