Eagles ranked in two top 25 polls, receive votes in two others
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After posting a pair of convincing wins to clinch just the ninth unbeaten season in Atlantic Sun Conference history, the FGCU men’s soccer team moved up No. 19 in the latest Soccer America Top 25 poll on Tuesday, up four spots from last week.
In need of just one point to clinch their first-ever A-Sun regular season title outright, the Eagles outscored their last two opponents 10-0, notching a pair of shutouts in the form of a 4-0 win over Jacksonville on Friday and a 6-0 victory over UNF on Sunday’s senior day. FGCU finished the year with a 13-3-2 overall record and a perfect 9-0 Atlantic Sun conference mark, equaling the record for league wins in a season.
“To be able to crack the top 20 in the national poll is a tremendous accomplishment and I’m so happy our four seniors could be a part of it,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “Those four guys can say that they were here for the start of something special, and to me, it means a lot for them to be here for it.”
It was a busy Tuesday for the Eagles, as they also earned their first-ever ranking in the NSCAA Top 25 poll, coming in at No. 23 with 54 votes. Just a week ago, FGCU received three votes in the NSCAA poll to sit in a tie for 35th place. The Blue and Green were one of five teams to move into the top 25 after just receiving votes last week. Additionally, the Eagles earned the No. 23 ranking according to Yahoo! Sports for the second straight week.
FGCU also garnered votes in both the Soccer Times and College Soccer News Top 25 polls.
Also on Tuesday, FGCU came in at No. 25 in the latest NCAA RPI Rankings. With the new rankings, the Eagles are 3-1 against the top 50 and an impressive 8-1-1 against the top 100. The high RPI ranking is bolstered by a 6-1 road record and victories over once nationally-ranked USF and Ohio State, who were No. 13 and No. 5, respectively, when the Eagles defeated them. A-Sun Tournament No. 1 seed ETSU came in at No. 47 in the RPI. FGCU defeated ETSU, 5-0, this season.
FGCU’s 9-0 A-Sun record makes it one of 17 teams in Division I with an unbeaten conference record. Furthermore, the Eagles are one of just eight programs in the nation without a loss or a tie in conference play.
Over the nine-game A-Sun season, FGCU shutout seven of its opponents, outscoring them 26-2 along the way. Dating back to the end of the 2009 season, the Eagles have gone 14-2 over their last 16 A-Sun contests and are currently riding an A-Sun home unbeaten streak of 11 games (10-0-1). FGCU is set to return 27 players, including 10 starters, next season.
Despite winning the A-Sun regular season, FGCU cannot compete in the conference postseason tournament due to the NCAA reclassifying period. FGCU will be eligible for postseason play in 2011.
FGCU’s No. 19 ranking equals the best by any program in the brief four-year Division I history of the athletic department. FGCU’s softball team earned a No. 19 ranking in the Ultimate College Softball poll during the 2009 season, while the baseball program was ranked No. 25 by Ping! Baseball at the start of last year.
Soccer America Top 25 Poll (Record/Previous Ranking)
1. Akron (14-1-1/1)
2. North Carolina (13-2-1/2)
3. Maryland (12-2-1/3)
4. Louisville (14-0-2/4)
5. SMU (14-1-0/7)
6. Butler (15-0-1/9)
7. UC Irvine (13-1-3/8)
8. California (11-2-3/11)
9. UConn (11-2-4/6)
10. Virginia (9-3-3/5)
11. UCLA (11-4-1/15)
12. Notre Dame (9-4-4/NR)
13. Creighton (11-3-1/10)
14. Monmouth (12-1-2/17)
15. Indiana (9-5-2/12)
16. UC Santa Barbara (10-4-3/13)
17. Penn State (10-5-1/
18. William & Mary (12-2-2/19)
19. FGCU (13-3-2/23)
20. Georgetown (11-5-1/21)
21. Duke (8-4-4/NR)
22. Pennsylvania (12-3-0/20)
23. Boston College (8-3-5/14)
24. Michigan (10-4-3/NR)
25. Princeton (10-3-1/NR)
25. Brown (10-2-3/NR)
25. St. Mary’s (9-5-1/NR)