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Men's Soccer Earns No. 14 Ranking in United Soccer Coaches Week One Poll

by Ryan Ladika

ORLANDO – On the heels of a perfect first weekend of the 2023 campaign, the UCF men’s soccer team has jumped into the top 15 programs in the United Soccer Coaches’ week one poll, earning a No. 14 national ranking.

Tuesday’s poll marks the first time since the spring 2021 campaign, moved from the fall of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that the Knights were ranked within the top 15 teams in the nation, when UCF was pegged at No. 14 as late as February 20.

After beginning the season on the outside looking in with regards to the national poll, the Knights attracted the eyes of the nation to Orlando with their season-opening 2-1 upset victory over the then-No. 9 Clemson Tigers on the road.

UCF then returned home and topped the Stetson Hatters, also by a 2-1 decision, and will enter their Friday home tilt against NC State looking improve to 3-0-0 for the first time since 2011, when UCF emerged victorious in each of its first five matches and remained unbeaten through its first seven with a 6-0-1 record to begin the slate.

A handful of the Knights’ future 2023 foes also made the cut in the week one rankings, including three inside the top seven. Kentucky locked up a No. 2 ranking, Marshall fell in at No. 5, and Florida International, which the Knights will face next Tuesday Sept. 5, earned a No. 7 ranking.

James Madison was also included in the week one poll, coming in at No. 17, and West Virginia received seven votes. Clemson also fell out of the top 25 after Thursday's match, as the Tigers received 14 votes in Tuesday's release.

COMPLETE UNITED SOCCER COACHES WEEK ONE POLL

RANK SCHOOL PREVIOUS FIRST-PLACE VOTES TOTAL POINTS W-L-T
1 Syracuse 1 8 200 2-0-0
2 Kentucky * 3 0 192 2-0-0
3 Duke 4 0 183 2-0-0
4 Stanford 7 0 175 2-0-0
5 Marshall * 11 0 164 2-0-0
6 Portland 13 0 154 1-0-0
7 FIU * 21 0 137 2-0-0
8 Pittsburgh 5 0 129 1-0-1
9 Akron 22 0 126 2-0-0
10 Indiana 2 0 119 0-0-1
11 Southern Methodist 19 0 107 2-0-0
12 San Diego NR 0 99 2-0-0
13 Louisville RV 0 89 2-0-0
14 UCF NR 0 86 2-0-0
15 Saint Louis 24 0 85 1-0-0
16 Wake Forest 18 0 76 1-0-1
17 James Madison * NR 0 56 2-0-0
18 Missouri State RV 0 45 1-0-0
19 New Hampshire 23 0 43 1-0-1
T-20 Maryland 14 0 40 1-1-0
T-20 Penn State NR 0 40 1-0-1
22 Vermont NR 0 38 1-1-0
23 Washington 6 0 38 1-1-0
24 Loyola Marymount NR 0 27 1-0-1
25 Oral Roberts NR 0 18 2-0-0

RECEIVING VOTES: North Carolina-Greensboro (17), California (16), UCLA (16), Creighton (15), Clemson (14) * , Georgetown (13), Virginia (10), Cornell (9), West Virginia (7) * , South Florida (6), California Davis (6), Pennsylvania (3), Denver (2).

* Denotes UCF 2023 Opponent

The No. 13 Knights will return to action Friday evening against the NC State Wolfpack, with the start time from the UCF Soccer Complex slated for 7 p.m.