Wake Forest, Indiana lead NCAA soccer committee's top-10 ranking
INDIANAPOLIS — As the 2017 college soccer regular season winds down and with conference tournaments approaching, the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee announced its top 10 ranking during the ESPNU telecast of Indiana vs. Michigan State on Sunday, Oct. 29.
Using the selection criteria and results through games played on Oct. 22, Wake Forest is the top-ranked team in the nation with a record of 15-1-0. The Demon Deacons are looking to return to the College Cup where they reached the national championship game in Houston before falling in penalty kicks to Stanford in 2016.
The rest of the top five includes undefeated, eight-time national champion Indiana (13-0-3), North Carolina (13-2-1), Clemson (11-3-0) and Michigan State (11-2-2).
“This was a really good exercise for our committee, especially the new members, to identify and evaluate the top teams in the country using the same criteria that we’ll use in two weeks during selections,” said Bill Wnek, chair of the committee and associate director of athletics at Loyola Maryland.
The remainder of the top 10 includes Duke (10-3-2) at sixth, followed by Notre Dame (9-4-2), Western Michigan (13-2-1), Georgetown (11-2-1) and Akron (10-3-1). The ranking includes eight teams that have previously won a national championship, led by the Hoosiers’ eight, two apiece for Clemson, Michigan State and North Carolina and one trophy each for Akron, Duke, Notre Dame and Wake Forest in the 58-year history of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
“There are a lot of significant regular season games and potential conference tournament rematches on the horizon that could totally change the makeup of top-seeded teams when we gather in Indianapolis in two weeks,” Wnek said. “It’s going to be important for teams to continue to play well and exciting for college soccer fans to enjoy these next few weeks of the season and then see what happens in the NCAA Championship and College Cup.”
The 2017 championship field will consist of 24 automatic qualifiers and 24 at-large selections, which will be revealed on Monday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. on NCAA.com. The top 16 teams will be seeded and receive first round byes before hosting second round games.
First round games will take place Thursday, Nov. 16 and the championship will conclude with the Men’s College Cup at Talen Energy Stadium, home of the MLS Philadelphia Union, with semifinals on Friday, Dec. 8, on ESPNU (6 p.m/8:45 p.m.), followed by the national championship game on Sunday, Dec. 10 on ESPN2 at 1 p.m.
Tickets for the Men’s College Cup are available at ncaa.com/tickets.
NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee Top 10 ranking
(record through games played on October 22)
Wake Forest (15-1-0)
North Carolina (13-2-1)
Michigan State (11-2-2)
Notre Dame (9-4-2)
Western Michigan (13-2-1)