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Zach Pekale | NCAA.com | September 3, 2019

Women's college soccer rankings: North Carolina claims top spot

Women's soccer players to watch for 2019

North Carolina is No. 1 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll after Florida State dropped back-to-back games in Los Angeles last week. The Tar Heels remained undefeated, grabbing 24 first-place votes after a sweep of Washington and Portland at the Husky Invitational in Seattle.

Following UNC is UCLA, Stanford and Southern California.

DOWN GO THE CHAMPS: USC bests Florida State on OT golden goal

The Cardinal held steady at No. 3 and outscored its opponents 12-1 over the past two matches. Both the Bruins and Trojans knocked off FSU over the weekend, resulting in UCLA’s jump to No. 2 while Southern California rose one spot.

Virginia enters the top five, a one-spot improvement after a 4-1 win over then-No.12 West Virginia. The Cavaliers have now scored a staggering 21 goals in four games, conceding just one.

Here’s a look at the full poll:

RANK

SCHOOL

POINTS

PREVIOUS

RECORD

1 North Carolina (24) 831 2 4-0-0
2 UCLA (8) 816 4 4-0-0
3 Stanford (2) 790 3 4-0-0
4 Southern California 740 5 4-0-0
5 Virginia 712 6 4-0-0
6 Florida State 669 1 2-2-0
7 South Carolina 616 8 3-0-0
8 Penn State 605 7 3-1-0
9 Vanderbilt 563 9 4-0-0
10 BYU 500 14 3-0-0
11 Kansas 448 18 4-0-0
12 Duke 420 10 2-1-1
13 Texas A&M 413 16 3-0-1
14 N.C. State 402 17 2-1-0
15 Georgetown 386 13 2-1-1
16 Wisconsin 355 15 3-1-0
17 Washington State 248 23 3-0-0
18 Memphis 220 20 3-1-0
19 Clemson 185 RV 4-0-0
20 Tennessee 165 11 3-1-0
21 Rutgers 158 RV 4-0-0
22 West Virginia 136 12 2-2-0
23 Virginia Tech 130 RV 4-0-0
24 TCU 114 RV 3-1-2
25 Wake Forest 69 RV 4-0-0

Aside from the Seminoles, No. 11 Tennessee and No. 12 West Virginia were the only other top-15 teams to lose this past week. 

The Volunteers fell nine spots after a one-goal defeat to Rutgers while the Mountaineers dropped to No. 22. WVU is now 0-2 against ranked teams this year following a 4-1 loss to Virginia.

Biggest risers

Kansas’ leap from No. 18 to No. 11 was the largest among any team ranked before Tuesday, followed by Washington State's rise from No. 23 to No. 17 and Brigham Young's four-spot jump into the top 10.

Five new teams — Clemson (19), Rutgers (21), Virginia Tech (23), TCU (24), Wake Forest (25) — entered the top 25 this week. All previously received votes.

ON THE RISE:  TCU in position to compete for Big 12 title

The Hokies and Demon Deacons return to the rankings after a one-week absence.

Dropped out

Santa Clara (19), Baylor (21), Pepperdine (22), Texas (24), Southern Methodist (25)

Looking ahead

No. 1 North Carolina plays its first match of the year as the top-ranked team against LSU on Thursday. The Tigers opened 2019 ranked in the preseason poll and will have a chance to earn a statement win when they visit the Tar Heels.

No.5 Virginia will look to take down another ranked opponent when the Cavaliers host No. 15 Georgetown on Thursday. The Hoyas have conceded four times in 2019 and are tasked with slowing down one of the top offenses in Division I.

Both Florida and No. 6 Florida State were swept by UCLA and Southern California last week. Now, the two schools have a chance to get back on track against each other in an in-state rivalry matchup. The Gators come to Tallahassee on Friday. 

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