Sept. 13, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's soccer team moved up to No. 1 in the NSCAA and Soccer America rankings, marking the third consecutive season the Cardinal has been No. 1.
In the NSCAA coaches' poll, released Tuesday, Stanford (6-0-1) moved up from No. 2, while top-ranked North Carolina fell to No. 7 after its collapse Sunday against unranked Texas A&M after holding a 3-1 lead.
"It’s a reward for our consistency, that we’re winning a high percentage of our games," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "Because at the end of the day, it can change next week – you lose one and someone else wins a big game. It just shows that we’re consistent over a stretch of time. That’s where it’s rewarding."
The Cardinal was the obvious choice for No. 1 after rallying to beat defending national champion Notre Dame on Friday, 2-1, and No. 11 UC Irvine, 2-0, on Sunday.
The past two seasons, Stanford held the No. 1 spot all the way to the NCAA College Cup, before losing in the final each time by 1-0 scores, to North Carolina in 2009 and Notre Dame in 2010.
"I honestly don’t really look at it until the end," Ratcliffe said. "That’s where it counts, where you get seeded for the playoffs. That’s the only significance for me."
Stanford next plays at unranked Portland (3-3-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a match televised live nationally by Fox Soccer. Stanford then plays at South Bay rival and No. 19 Santa Clara (3-0-4) on Sunday at 8 p.m.
"We still have a lot to prove this year," Ratcliffe said. "We want to be the national champions. That’s our ultimate goal."
For the NSCAA rankings, click here.
For the Soccer America rankings, click here.