Following its 3-0 win over then ninth ranked Denver University on Saturday, the Colorado soccer program finds itself nationally ranked for the first time ever, coming in at 16th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Monday morning.
In the eight year existence of women's soccer at the University of Colorado, no team has ever been nationally ranked, and the 2-1 record represents the best start in program history.
"It's great," said third year head coach Bill Hempen after addressing his team in the team's final practice on Monday. "But the coaches' is just one of many polls, and ironically we're not receiving votes in the others. It's exciting to be thought of as the 16th ranked team in the country, but realistically, we're really one of the top 35."
Pessimistic as it might seem, that may be just the attitude that Colorado needs to maintain its new ranking and, more importantly, become noticed and respected around collegiate soccer.
"The reality is that it's early in the season and the polls change so much. Trying to maintain that ranking will be the issue," he said after Saturday's upset.
Colorado's 2-1 record may seem a bit more meager than it actually is. Colorado won both early season exhibitions they played, and their only regular season loss came against then second ranked Portland University when the CU defense broke down and PU scored in the final three minutes of regulation. Ironically, the team's only loss remains the game their head coach is most impressed with.
In the poll, North Carolina overtakes the top spot for the week. Santa Clara, UCLA, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M round out the top five of a poll which has seen perennial powerhouses such as Portland, USC, and Washington fall towards the bottom of the national rankings after suffering early season losses.
Aside from CU and A&M, two other Big 12 squads made an appearance in this week's list: Texas (11th) and Missouri (25th).
Colorado takes its new ranking into tomorrow's game against Wyoming. The Buffs will then return to Boulder the following week to host the Colorado Women's Kickoff Classic.
Soccer Jumps into Rankings Following Weekend
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