Penn State Women’s Soccer Ranked No. 1 In NCAA Top 16
Penn State women’s soccer was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Top 16 rankings, the NCAA announced Thursday. The poll, compiled by the women’s soccer Division I selection committee, mirrors the RPI in basketball and the College Football Playoff ranking in football.
Penn State, who holds a record of 12-0-4 and is 6-0-3 in conference play, sits in first place in the Big Ten with a chance to win the conference on Sunday, when it plays the final game of the regular season against Wisconsin. The No. 1 ranking is the first step for the Nittany Lions as they try and make the final tournament. In a season that they haven’t lost all year, they will need to keep performing as they have been to make it.
Should the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten Tournament, they would be guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament. However, a No. 1 ranking in the NCAA top 16 signals that even with an early exit in the conference tournament, Penn State can feel confident in earning an at-large bid.
Head coach Erica Dambach’s side is currently No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches poll and No. 8 in the TopDrawerSoccer rankings. However, placing No. 1 with the voters that matter on Thursday is the most important ranking of the year.
Penn State has only faced one team in the top 16, which resulted in a 1-1 draw against No. 3 UNC to open the season. No other Big Ten team is ranked in the committee’s initial top 16.
The top-ranked Nittany Lions will look to finish out their perfect regular season and win the Big Ten on Sunday, October 22. The game will be aired on the Big Ten Network. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in a Halloween-themed match in Happy Valley.
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