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College Top 25: Louisville takes top spot, Irish debut and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the first time this season, a new team tops the college soccer top 25.

Following its shocking upset against Cleveland State, Akron has fallen to No. 2 behind still-undefeated Louisville, who receieved 16 of a possible 23 first-place votes. The Cardinals will look to finish off their season undefeated when the they start their quest for the Big East title on Saturday against the winner of South Florida and West Virginia.

Akron, who had previously had a stranglehold on the top position since week one, retained five first-place votes. The Zips dropped to second spot despite road wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest and home wins against Tulsa and Creighton. Akron has already wrapped up the top seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament which starts next week.

No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 North Carolina and No. 5 Southern Methodist all stayed, with Maryland receiving two first-place votes. Butler continues to be rewarded for their undefeated season, rising to No. 6.

Virginia continues to struggle ahead of the ACC tournament, dropping another four places to No. 15 after a 2-0 home loss to Maryland. The Cavaliers' ACC rivals, Duke, rose back into the rankings at No. 21 with blowout victories against Furman and Virginia Tech. The ACC is back up to four ranked teams, tied with the Big East for most of any conference. 

Connecticut suffered a slight slide down the rankings to No. 9 following a 1-0 loss to Georgetown.

Notre Dame stormed into the top 25 for the first time, landing at No. 19, after a pair of Big East victories. Joining the Irish and the Blue Devils in the top 25 are No. 22 Penn State, No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 25 Georgetown. 

Indiana, South Florida, Loyola Marymount, Michigan State fell out of the rankings. Georgetown and UC-Santa Barbara received an identical points total and will both be ranked at No. 25. For the second time this season, college soccer will have 26 ranked teams for a week. There will also be two teams ranked at No. 13, with Pennsylvania and William & Mary tied a 266 points.

NSCAAA TOP 25

  1. Louisville (16) 508 (14-0-2)
  2. Akron (5) 542 (14-1-1)
  3. Maryland (2) 533 (12-2-1)
  4. North Carolina  503 (13-2-1)
  5. Southern Methodist 484 (14-1-0)
  6. Butler 460 (15-0-1)
  7. UC Irvine 436 (13-1-3)
  8. California 386 (11-2-3)
  9. Connecticut 385 (11-2-4)
10. Creighton 347 (11-3-1)
11. Monmouth 333 (12-1-3)
12. UCLA 309 (11-4-1) 
13. Pennsylvania 266 (12-3-0)
13. William & Mary 266 (12-2-2)
15. Virginia 258 (9-3-3)
16. Princeton 213 (11-3-1)
17. Brown 188 (9-2-3)
18. Charlotte 144 (11-5-0)
19. Notre Dame 128 (8-3-4)
20. Boston College 115 (8-3-5)
21. Duke 109 (8-4-4)
22. Penn State 74 (10-5-1)
23. Florida Gulf Cost 54 (13-3-2)
24. Tulsa 53 (9-5-1)
25. UC Santa Barbara 51 (10-4-3)
25. Georgetown 51 (11-5-1)
Also receiving votes: South Carolina 49, Saint Mary's (CA) 48, Indiana 42, Michigan State 20, San Diego State 16, South Florida 14, Central Florida 8, UAB 8, St. John's 6, Loyola Marymount 3, Portland 2, Colgate 1, James Madison 1, Washington 1 

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