By Jordan Shim–
In the latest NSCAA poll, the Louisville men’s soccer team have risen four spots to No. 9. The Cards also sit No. 2 in the very first NCAA RPI rankings of the year. The women’s soccer team’s success has also been recognized. Soccer America have ranked the Cards at No. 18 following their victory over No. 17 Boston College.
Despite being picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Division of the ACC, the men have exceeded expectations. Having lost to Kentucky on Sept. 6, the Cards are winners of five straight. During this stretch, they have gone 3-0 in conference play, including wins over No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 16 Virginia.
Louisville is highly regarded as one of the nation’s top teams. They are No. 9 in the NCAA Coaches poll. Top Drawer Soccer ranks them at No. 4. And Soccer America rates the Cards as the second best team in the country.
The Cards have hit peak form after a slow start. Much of their success can be credited to the stellar play of newcomer Mohamed Thiaw. The Lexington native is on fire at the moment and has emerged as one of the nation’s premier talents. He currently leads the ACC in goals with seven, game-winning goals with four and points with 15. He has also collected ACC and National player-of-the-week honors.
In a string of eight days starting on Oct. 7, the men will host No. 3 Syracuse and No. 6 Indiana before traveling to No. 11 Wake Forest. They finish the regular season hosting No. 5 Clemson on Oct. 28.
The women are ranked for the first time since 2013, when they were No. 24.
Conference play has begun, and the Cards have shown they can compete with some of the best schools in the country. They shared a point against No. 7 Duke after 110 minutes of play last Friday, then followed that up scoring three unanswered goals to defeat No. 17 Boston College, 3-2, two days later.
Louisville is currently 7-2-2 and are tied for first place with five schools in the vaunted ACC.
The women’s next three matches are at home against No. 18 Notre Dame, NC State and No. 5 Clemson. They are on the road for the next three before returning home for the season finale against No. 11 Virginia.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal