UNC rockets up nine spots to No. 1 in women’s soccer poll

By R.L. Bynum

National observers may not have been that impressed with Carolina’s women’s soccer team before the season began, but that has quickly changed.

The Tar Heels were ranked No. 10 in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll, but after defeating a pair of teams ranked in the top 11 of the preseason poll, they zoomed all the way to earning a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the latest poll Tuesday while some other ACC teams dropped. UNC got all eight first-place votes.

It’s Carolina’s first No. 1 ranking since Nov. 10, 2020. Since 2000, UNC is 135–11–2 as the top-ranked team.

Carolina won both of its exhibition games, including a 2–0 victory over then No. 3 BYU (which fell to No. 9) and won its first two regular-season games last week, including a 3–0 win over then No. 11 Tennessee (which fell to No. 22).

Carolina (2–0–0) has combined to win the two exhibition games and two regular-season games 12–0. In the Tar Heels’ 2–0 Sunday win over UNCW, they outshot the Seahawks 23–2.

Preseason No. 1 Florida State fell to No. 2 after a scoreless draw against then No. 12 South Carolina (now No. 4) and a 3–1 win over Georgia. Duke, which lost an exhibition to Georgia 2–1, fell from No. 2 to No. 5 after a 1–0 win at East Carolina and a 3–1 home win over UNC Greensboro.

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Virginia, which lost an exhibition to Illinois 2–1 and tied Michigan 1–1 in an exhibition, fell from No. 4 to No. 8 after a 3–1 win over George Mason and a 6–0 victory over Loyola Marymount.

Clemson moved up from No. 25 to No. 18 after a scoreless tie with Texas A&M and a 6–1 victory over Campbell.

Duke was picked to win the ACC with Virginia second and UNC third.

Also on Tuesday, senior Tori Hansen (middle in top photo) was named ACC Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. Hansen, who played 180 minutes in the first two games, headed in a goal against Tennessee.

UNC returns to action at 8 p.m. Thursday at Texas (Longhorn Network.)

Top 25

RankTeam (first-place votes)PointsRecordPreseason rank
1North Carolina (8)2002-0-010
2Florida State1751-0-11
3Rutgers1612-0-06
4South Carolina1581-0-112
5Duke1572-0-02
6UCLA1541-0-013
7TCU1481-0-17
8Virginia1352-0-04
9BYU1331-0-03
10Penn State1220-0-114
11Georgetown1211-0-119
12Ole Miss1112-0-018
13Stanford951-0-021
14Pepperdine732-0-017
15SMU671-0-123
16Auburn662-0-0NR
17Butler612-0-0NR
18Clemson571-0-125
19Saint Louis432-0-0NR
20Ohio State422-0-0NR
21West Virginia391-0-1NR
22Tennessee350-1-111
23UCF351-0-1NR
24Wisconsin331-0-1NR
25Colorado292-0-0NR

Also receiving votes: Notre Dame (28), Michigan (26), Texas A&M (19), Samford (17), Texas (16), N.C. State (16), Arkansas (10), Santa Clara (9), Washington (4), Xavier (2), UC-Irvine (2), Wake Forest (1).

DateMonth/dayGame/scoreOpponent
(current rank)
LocationTV/
record
August
7SundayW, 5–0VCU HomeExhibition
13SaturdayW, 2–0BYUHomeExhibition
18ThursdayW, 3–0TennesseeHome1–0–0
21SundayW, 2–0UNCWHome2–0–0
25ThursdayW, 2–0TexasAustin, Texas3–0–0
28SundayW, 6–0BaylorAustin, Texas4–0–0
September
1ThursdayW, 3–1MissouriColumbia, Mo.5–0–0
4SundayL, 2–1No. 1 UCLAHome5–1–0
8ThursdayW, 3–0X-No. 4 DukeDurham6–1–0
11SundayW, 2–1Central FloridaHome7–1–0
17SaturdayL, 3–2No. 2 VirginiaHome7–2–0,
0–1–0 ACC
22ThursdayW, 1–0SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.8–2–0,
1–1–0 ACC
25SundayW, 3–0Boston CollegeHome9–2–0,
2–1–0 ACC
October
1SaturdayL, 2–1Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.9–3–0,
2–2–0 ACC
6Thursday7 p.m.PittHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
9Sunday1 p.m.N.C. StateHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
14Friday7 p.m.Wake ForestHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
20Thursday8 p.m.No. 7
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla.ACC Network
23Sunday1 p.m.MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.ACCNX (ESPN3)
27Thursday6 p.m.LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.ACC Network
ACC Tournament
30SundayTBAFirst roundCampus sitesTBA
November
3ThursdayTBASemifinalsCaryTBA
6SundayTBAChampionshipCaryTBA
X — Non-conference game. Buy tickets to home games here.

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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