HARARE – The number of undefeated college teams dropped considerably this past week as UConn and Maryland continued to dominate the competition in their own tightly-contested battle for the top spot in college soccer.
The Terrapins made a very strong claim for regaining the No. 1 spot after handing Creighton its first loss of the season in a three-win week that also saw Maryland defeat UNC-Charlotte. Staying unbeaten could be tricky this week, with ACC rival Virginia awaiting tonight.
UConn did its part to remain the top-ranked team in the nation, defeating Louisville and Manhattan to hold onto the only perfect record in the nation. The latest challenge to that perfect record will be Notre Dame on Saturday in one of the weekend's premier match-ups.
Akron also tumbled from the ranks of the unbeaten, losing to UCSB in a dramatic overtime match in California. Caleb Porter's side will look to rebound against a tough Northern Illinois side currently in the Top 20.
St. John's moved closer to the top of the rankings after an impressive victory against Notre Dame that bumped the Fighting Irish out of the Top 10. The Red Storm's two losses this year were to UConn and Maryland, but if the New York school is going to keep it's new lofty status it will need to beat fellow Top 10 school South Florida on Saturday.
Indiana plummeted out of the Top Ten after posting consecutive losses, but the Hoosiers could climb back up the rankings with a win against Creighton in Sunday's best match-up of the day.
On the West Coast, UC-Irvine was the big climber in this week's rankings, soaring to No. 12 on the strength of wins against UCSB and Cal-State Fullerton. The Pac-10 will go a long way toward being decided when Washington faces UCLA. The Huskies slipped out of the Top 25 with its most recent loss, but a win against the Bruins could push Brett Richards and Washington back int the rankings, and a big step toward a conference title.
Four new teams cracked the Top 25 this week, including unbeaten Cal-State Bakersfield, which may not be truly tested until taking on fellow unbeaten New Mexico later this month.
Here is how the Fox Soccer NCAA Top 25 shakes out heading into this weekend's action:
NCAA MEN'S SOCCER TOP 25
(Previous ranking in parentheses, records through Tuesday)
1. (1) UConn (11-0)
2. (2) Maryland (11-0-1)
3. (3) North Carolina (9-1-1)
4.(4) (5) Creighton (9-1)
5. (8) Louisville (7-3)
6. (10) St. John's (7-2-2)
7. (13) Central Florida (8-1-1)
8. (5) Akron (7-1-2)
9. (11) South Florida (6-2-2)
10. (12) New Mexico (7-0-2)
11. (7) Notre Dame (5-2-3)
12. (22) UC-Irvine (10-2)
13. (15) UCSB (7-3-1)
14. (14) UCLA (7-3-1)
15. (6) Indiana (6-2-2)
16. (9) Boston College (7-3)
17. (NR) Georgetown (7-1-3)
18. (NR) James Madison (7-1-1)
19. (NR) Cal-State Bakersfield (5-0-4)
20. (17) Northern Illinois (8-2)
21. (24) Coastal Carolina (8-2)
22. (18) Furman (9-2-2)
23. (23) UNC-Charlotte (7-2)
24. (NR) Xavier (8-1-2)
25. (21) SMU (6-4)
Honorable Mention : Duke (6-4-1), Ohio State (7-4-1), Iona (9-1), Washington (5-2-2), Penn State (6-3-2), Bradley (7-2-2), San Diego State (7-1-2), West Virginia (5-4-1), Monmouth (7-3), Santa Clara (6-2-3)