Soccer Makes Return to Soccer America Top 25

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Soccer Makes Return to Soccer America Top 25

BATON ROUGE – On the strength of its current three-game winning streak, the LSU Soccer team has returned to the national rankings for the first time in more than two years as the Tigers will take a No. 24 national ranking on the road in Southeastern Conference play this weekend after cracking the latest Soccer America Top 25 poll.

LSU returns to the national rankings for the first time since they cracked the Top 25 at No. 25 on Sept. 2, 2013, while they feature in the Soccer America Top 25 for the first time since picking up a No. 18 national ranking on Oct. 12, 2011. The Tigers are now ranked in the Soccer America Top 25 national ranking for the 24th time in their history.

The Tigers earned their highest ever ranking in the Soccer America Top 25 poll on Sept. 22, 2008, when they climbed as high as No. 9 nationally during a season in which they placed second in the SEC standings.

The Tigers, who are also receiving votes in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 and Top 25 polls, are riding a three-game winning streak as they followed their 1-0 win over then 15th-ranked Duke on Sept. 13 with an offensive explosion in a 4-3 win over Georgia last Thursday night and a 5-1 win over Marquette on Sunday afternoon at the LSU Soccer Stadium.

This week’s Soccer America Top 25 features two victims on the Tigers’ 2015 schedule as they boast wins over both the Duke Blue Devils and Minnesota Golden Gophers in recent weeks. Duke remains a consensus Top 25 team this week, including a No. 22 ranking by Soccer America, while Minnesota at No. 20 has cracked the major polls this week following an impressive weekend road sweep at Ohio State and Penn State.

LSU also boasts a strong No. 32 ranking in the NCAA’s first Ratings Percentage Index released on Monday as the squad is building an impressive resume in their bid to return to the NCAA Tournament this fall. The Tigers have picked up three wins against the RPI’s Top 40 at this stage of the season, including No. 19 Duke, No. 24 Minnesota and No. 39 Indiana.

LSU’s entry into the Soccer America Top 25 this week sets up a matchup between two nationally-ranked teams on Friday night as the Tigers go on the road to face No. 13-ranked Auburn with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT on the SEC Network+. Auburn is off to a strong 8-1 start this season while earning a No. 13 ranking in the latest NSCAA Top 25 ranking that was also released Tuesday.

Soccer America Women’s Top 25 (as of Sept. 22)
Team (Record) Last Week
1. Virginia (7-0-1) 1
2. North Carolina (8-0-1) 2
3. Florida State (7-1-1) 4
4. West Virginia (9-1-0) 6
5. Clemson (7-0-1) 13
6. Notre Dame (7-1-1) 3
7. Virginia Tech (8-1-1) 5
8. BYU (7-1-0) 9
9. Texas A&M (9-1-0) 10
10. Florida (7-2-0) 12
11. Penn State (6-2-1) 7
12. Santa Clara (6-3-0) NR
13. Stanford (6-2-0) 8
14. Texas Tech (6-1-2) 14
15. South Carolina (8-1-0) 15
16. Rutgers (8-0-0) 16
17. California (6-1-2) 11
18. Kentucky (8-1-1) 18
19. St. John’s (8-1-0) 19
20. Minnesota (7-1-2) NR
21. Washington (7-1-1) 22
22. Duke (6-2-2) 23
23. Arizona (6-1-1) NR
24. LSU (7-1-2) NR
25. Connecticut (8-1-0) NR