Janet Rayfield's Illini squad grabbed a No. 13 ranking by the NSCAA today, tying the team's best preseason ranking ever.
Aug. 15, 2006
The University of Illinois women's soccer team has been ranked No. 13 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), tying the team's highest preseason ranking ever by any organization. Less than a week ago, the Illini garnered a No. 15 ranking by Soccer Buzz.
The No. 13 national ranking ties the team's previous preseason-best ranking, which NSCAA gave the Illini in 2005. Big Ten rivals Penn State and Purdue are ranked No. 3 and No. 21, respectively. Other 2006 opponents ranked by NSCAA include No. 9 Texas A&M and Saint Louis, which is receiving votes. Marquette, the Illini's second exhibition opponent, is ranked No. 25.
The Illini begin their exhibition season Wednesday at Ohio then return home to face the 25th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles in the team's final exhibition on Friday at 7 p.m. Friday is Little Illini Soccer Club Day at Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium, featuring free admission for all fans and post-game breakout sessions between LISC and Fighting Illini team members.
Illinois opens the home regular season Sept. 8 against Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Illini Tournament. Auburn takes on Portland State at 4:30 p.m. that day.