The latest United Soccer Coaches women’s rankings have been released, with a new team at the top of the sport for the third time this season in UCLA.
Here are three things I noticed about where each team placed in the top 25 after a monumental week in DI women’s soccer:
FULL RANKINGS: United Soccer Coaches top 25 in DI women's soccer
A statement week for UCLA
Have the Bruins just completed the best week in program history? In the regular season, almost certainly. Beating both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country, on the road and in back-to-back games is an incredible confidence boost for the rest of the season.
BRUINS BEAT NO. 1: UCLA upsets UNC to cap big week
First-year head coach Margueritte Aozasa arrived in Los Angeles with high expectations after a spectacular tenure as an assistant at Stanford. This Bruins team has quickly taken after its coach and made a statement to the rest of women’s soccer: anyone who wants to win a national championship will have to go through UCLA first.
Stanford making a leap
Aozasa’s former school made the largest jump among teams in the top 10 this week, rising six places from No. 12 to No. 6 as the only other Pac-12 team with a perfect record.
The jump comes thanks to a 2-0 win over then No. 8 Penn State on Sept. 1. The Cardinal more than doubled the Nittany Lions in shots and shots on goal, passing their first test of the season confidently. Stanford deserves a spot in the top 10 based on that result alone. I’m glad they’re getting the recognition.
A harsh drop for BYU
The Cougars did not have a great week, there’s no hiding from that. A tie and loss at home in consecutive games may seem like enough reason to drop them out of the top 10. But with more context, the fall is questionable.
A 2-2 tie to then-No. 20 Colorado on Aug. 29 was followed by a 3-2 loss on Sept. 1 to an Alabama squad that received votes in last week’s poll. Both teams are now ranked in the top 20, so is that really such a bad look on BYU that they deserved to fall from No. 6 to No. 13? I don’t think so, especially after rebounding with a 5-0 drubbing of CSUN on Sept. 3.