BATON ROUGE – The LSU Soccer team has returned to the national rankings ahead of the 2013 season while being tabbed the No. 22-ranked team in the country in the first ranking to be released this preseason after Wednesday’s announcement of the BennettRank NCAA Division I Women’s College Soccer Preseason Rankings.
The Tigers return to the national rankings for the first time since earning a No. 18 national ranking in the weekly release of the Soccer America Top 25 on Oct. 12, 2011.
LSU is among six Southeastern Conference teams ranked among the Top 25 in the BennettRank NCAA Division I Women’s College Soccer Preseason Rankings as the club is joined by No. 5-ranked Florida, No. 9-ranked Texas A&M, No. 15-ranked Tennessee, No. 16-ranked Auburn and No. 19-ranked Missouri.
The Tigers will play host to Tennessee on Sept. 27 and Missouri on Oct. 11 in a pair of Friday night matches with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium. LSU will go on the road to face Florida on Sunday, Oct. 20, and Texas A&M on Thursday, Oct. 31, while the Tigers are not scheduled to face Auburn in their slate of 11 SEC fixtures during the 2013 regular season.
LSU is also set to face BYU during the non-conference season on Monday, Sept. 2, as the Cougars check as the No. 20-ranked team nationally in the BennettRank preseason power rankings. BYU is coming off of a great 2012 season in which the squad won the West Coast Conference title with a 20-2-2 overall record while earning a No. 1 national seed and advancing to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
With six teams ranked among the Top 25 nationally, the SEC trails only the Atlantic Coast Conference in terms of representation in the BennettRank preseason power rankings. The ACC features nine teams led by such programs as No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Virginia, No. 4 Duke, No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 11 Boston College, No. 12 Virginia Tech, No. 13 Maryland and No. 19 Miami (Fla.) in the Top 25.
The Big 10 Conference follows in a distant third with three programs in the Top 25 of the BennettRank preseason ranking, including No. 8-ranked Penn State, No. 21-ranked Ohio State and No. 2-ranked5 Illinois.
Log on to the BennettRank homepage at http://bennettranking.com/women/d1 to view the complete BennettRank NCAA Division I Women’s College Soccer Preseason Rankings of all 317 NCAA Division I programs.
BennettRank NCAA Division I Women’s College Soccer Preseason Rankings
1. North Carolina
2. Florida State
8. Penn State
9. Texas A&M
10. Wake Forest
11. Boston College
12. Virginia Tech
18. Miami (Fla.)
21. Ohio State
24. Notre Dame