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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona soccer ranked in the top 25 for first time since 2004

After finishing up non-conference play with a 6-1-1 record, including a program-best 5-0 start, the Arizona women’s soccer team is ranked No. 25 in this week’s NSCAA Coaches Poll.

This marks just the second time in program history that the team has been ranked in the top 25. The first time was in 2004, when the Wildcats finished with a 15-6-2 record and a final ranking of No. 13.

A few weeks ago, when Arizona was just outside of the top 25, head coach Tony Amato downplayed what being ranked would mean for the team.

“I think it would just show the progress overall [that we’ve made], but, as a whole, I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock in it. It’s just so early in the season,” he said.

He’s right.

The strong start has been impressive, but the Wildcats still face a brutal conference schedule. Three other teams in the Pac-12 Conference are ranked—Stanford, California and Washington—while UCLA, USC, Washington State and ASU are just outside the top 25.

From here on out, Arizona will be playing one or two high-caliber teams each weekend. If it wants to stick around in the top 25, the Wildcats will have to continue to keep their focus and play exceptional soccer. As Amato has mentioned, the hot start means nothing if they falter down the stretch.

“I mean, I’d rather be ranked than not be in the discussion at all. But ultimately, it’s about trying to win each game, and we want to make sure that we’re ranked at the end of the season,” Amato said. “We would hate to celebrate being ranked early in the season or having the best start in school history if we weren’t able to finish it off throughout the year.”

Arizona’s first test as a ranked team will be at home Friday against No. 21 Washington.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter.

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