UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State women’s soccer entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll on Tuesday for the first time in 2011.Penn State is ranked 21st by the NSCAA, while earning a ranking of 20th by the coaches voting in the SoccerTimes.com poll. The Nittany Lions clock in at 16th and 19th by soccer publications Soccer America and TopDrawerSoccer.com.
For most of 2011, the Nittany Lions (6-2-0) have been knocking on the door of the NSCAA’s Top 25 rankings, being the first team left out in the preseason and the second team out last week. Following Penn State’s 3-2 regulation win at then-No. 7 Virginia on Sunday, voters took notice. Penn State elevated to 21st while Central Florida, who defeated PSU on Friday in Charlottesville, earned 20th. Penn State is the highest Big Ten team ranked in this week’s poll with Illinois (23rd) and Ohio State (25th) also earning spots, while Iowa and Wisconsin each received votes.
The Nittany Lions also were the highest ranked Big Ten team in the SoccerTimes.com poll, moving up one spot from a week ago to 20th. Ohio State checks in at 22nd, Illinois is the first team out and Iowa received a vote. After Penn State’s win over Virginia, PSU vaulted up the Soccer America poll from 25th to 16th. Penn State held steady in the TopDrawerSoccer.com rankings at 19th.
The Stanford Cardinal, Penn State’s season opening opponent, topped all the polls for the first time in 2011. Stanford is 6-0-1 this season, receiving a unanimous choice by the SoccerTimes.com coaches, while earning 32 of 33 votes in the NSCAA poll.
Penn State opens Big Ten play this weekend at Wisconsin on Saturday in a duel of the Conference’s top teams. Game time is set for 2 p.m. ET from the McClimon Sports Complex in Madison, Wis.