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Penn State Men’s Soccer Climbs Back Into United Soccer Coaches Poll At No. 24

Penn State men’s soccer is back in the top 25, folks.

After a whirlwind two weeks that included clinching a Big Ten regular-season title and advancing to the conference semifinals with a Sunday victory against Michigan State, the Nittany Lions land at No. 24 in this week’s rendition of the United Soccer Coaches poll.

The Nittany Lions defeated then-No. 7 Maryland two weeks ago, yet the Terrapins fell to just No. 11 in last week’s poll. Now, after Maryland fell to Northwestern in a shock Big Ten quarterfinal penalty shootout, the Terrapins were only docked one more spot.

Meanwhile, high-flying Penn State is only in at No. 24, a sign that the committee is still holding on to a subpar non-conference slate. Indiana is the other Big Ten team ranked, coming in at No. 17, while Penn State’s upcoming semifinal opponent Michigan didn’t even receive votes.

With just one week to go until the selection committee picks the 48-team field for the NCAA Tournament, it is easy to project the top of the heap.

Oregon State, Tulsa, and Washington are currently in the top three of the national poll, which is usually a pretty good indicator of how the final bracket will look. Defending champions Marshall and Pitt, one of the Nittany Lions’ six losses this year, round out the top five.

A win on Wednesday for Jeff Cook’s squad against the Wolverines, and a Big Ten championship on Sunday (most likely against ranked rivals Indiana) would bode well for a very high seed in the NCAA Tournament. As of now, Penn State can more or less assume that it has qualified, but a home game is not assured.

The Nittany Lions will kickoff against Michigan at Jeffrey Field Wednesday at noon. The match will be broadcast live on BTN.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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