U soccer climbing national rankings

By By Mathew Ouellette

By Mathew Ouellette

The U soccer team (3-1) returns home this week to square off against in-state rival Weber State on Thursday. The teams are moving in opposite directions this season, with the Utes losing only once and Weber State having yet to notch a victory in four games.

Gaining Respect

The Utes cracked the top 25 in a major national poll for the first time this season, ranking No. 24 in the Soccer America poll.

However, they still remain unranked in the coaches and Soccer Buzz polls. The Soccer Times ranks them No. 36.

In the West region, which includes nine of the top 25 teams, the Utes and BYU are co occupants of the No. 10 spot.

Ranking Women

Several Utes are currently in the top ten in the MWC scoring categories. Lauren Field is tied for first in points per game (2) and goals per game (1).

Carisse Winegar and Amanda Feigt are tied for second in assists per game (.75). Winegar also tied Amanda Brower for seventh in points per game (1.25). Missy Dennis is fourth in assists per game (0.5).

The two Ute goalies also ranked in the top ten. Their strength was saves per game, with Ashley Mason notching 3.67 per game, (No. 5 in MWC) and Kaycie Zimmerman blocking 2 (No. 6).

They Love to Score

With the exception of the Texas A&M game, the Utes have scored at least three goals per game, including four against the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines.

This early season offensive outburst puts the Utes first in the MWC in goals per game (2.5), first in assists per game (2.75), fourth in shots per game (11.25) and fourth in goals against average (1.47).

Tough Road Ahead

Despite playing two of their toughest opponents of the season this past weekend, the Utes still have several tough games left. They play No. 6 Florida at home and previously ranked BYU on the road. Add these games to their conference schedule, which is always a struggle, and the Utes schedule should be tough enough to prove the nation that they are a contender.

Conference play begins Oct. 9 and culminates Nov. 5 when the MWC tournament begins in Salt Lake City.

[email protected]