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.


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
4South Carolina1581-0-112
10Penn State1220-0-114
12Ole Miss1112-0-018
19Saint Louis432-0-0NR
20Ohio State422-0-0NR
21West Virginia391-0-1NR

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).

(current rank)
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
1ThursdayW, 3–1MissouriColumbia, Mo.5–0–0
4SundayL, 2–1No. 1 UCLAHome5–1–0
8ThursdayW, 3–0X-No. 8 DukeDurham6–1–0
11SundayW, 2–1Central FloridaHome7–1–0
17SaturdayL, 3–2No. 11 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
1SaturdayL, 2–1Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.9–3–0,
2–2–0 ACC
6ThursdayW, 4–0No. 19 PittsburghHome10–3–0,
3–2–0 ACC
9SundayW, 2–0N.C. StateHome11–3–0,
4–2–0 ACC
14FridayW, 1–0Wake ForestHome12–3–0,
5–2–0 ACC
20ThursdayW, 2–1No. 5
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla.13–3–0,
6–2–0 ACC
23SundayW, 4–0MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.14–3–0,
7–2–0 ACC
27ThursdayW, 1–0LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.15–3–0,
8–2–0 ACC
NovemberACC tournament
3ThursdayT, 0–0, 2 OTs (UNC advances 7–6 on PKs)Semifinal vs.
No. 8 Duke
6SundayL, 2–1Final vs. No. 5 Florida StateCary15–4–1
NCAA tournament
12SaturdayW, 5–0First round:
Old Dominion
Chapel Hill16–4–1
17ThursdayW, 3–1Second round: Georgia Chapel Hill17–4–1
19SaturdayW, 3–2Third round:
No. 15 BYU
Chapel Hill18–4–1
26SaturdayW, 2–0Quarterfinals:
No. 4
Notre Dame
South Bend, Ind.19–4–1
DecemberCollege Cup
2FridayW, 3–2Semifinals: No. 5 Florida State Cary20–4–1
5MondayL, 3–2, 2 OTsChampionship: No. 1 UCLACary20–5–1
X — Non-conference game.

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications


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