Soccer ranked No. 1 in Soccer America poll
OAKLAND, Calif. -- After extending its unbeaten streak to eight matches, the Texas Soccer team was lauded with the No. 1 spot in the nation in the Soccer America magazine national poll released Monday, Oct. 8.
The Longhorns (9-1-2, 2-0-1 Big 12 Conference) hold the top spot for the first time in school history. The previous program best came last week with the No. 2 rating in the same publication.
Texas has won nine of 12 matches this season, including a 2-1 win over second-ranked UCLA at a neutral site on Sept. 2. The Longhorns have been just as sharp in Big 12 matches as they have won two of their first three contests this year. Seven of UT's nine wins have come at home.
Other teams ranked in the top five of the Soccer America weekly poll are second-ranked UCLA, third-ranked Stanford (who was ranked No. 1 in last week's poll) and fourth-ranked Virginia. Fellow Big 12 school Missouri moved from sixth-place into the No. 5. Texas A&M improved from No. 16 to No. 14 in the latest edition.
Texas' talented offense and stifling defense have been key factors in the Longhorns' success this year.
The Longhorns offense is on fire this year, as UT has scored 25 goals in just 12 matches. Freshman Niki Arlitt (Houston, Texas) leads the team in points (20) and goals (8) ahead of NSCAA All-American Kelsey Carpenter (Allen, Texas) who is second with 15 points on six goals and three assists.
Four Longhorns have dished the ball for a team-leading four assists including Arlitt, U.S. National Team standout and junior defender Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), junior midfielder Courtney Gaines (Sugar Land, Texas) and freshman forward Alisha Ortiz (Highlands Village, Texas). NSCAA All-American Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif.) is the top scoring defender with 11 points (five goals and one assist) and two game-winning goals (which ties her career high).
The Texas defense has been just as impressive as the Longhorns have five shutouts this season. UT has allowed just nine goals in 12 games and carries a 0.75 goals-against average. Texas has held the opposition to 81 shots (in contrast to the 261 the offense has taken) and only 43 shots on goal. Only two teams have scored two or more goals against Texas in comparison to 10 teams that have one goal or less in the scorebook.
The Longhorns face No. 14 Texas A&M in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. CT in College Station. Texas then travels to Waco for a Sunday, Oct. 14 match against Baylor at 7 p.m. CT.