DURHAM, N.C. – The preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I women’s soccer rankings were released Wednesday with Duke tabbed No. 18 nationally.
Head coach Robbie Church and the Blue Devils return seven starters, while welcoming the No. 2 rated recruiting class in the nation, off its squad that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight a year ago and totaled a 9-9-6 overall record.
The ranking marks the third straight year Duke has been preseason listed by the NSCAA and the eighth time over the last 11 years. The Blue Devils feature 11 different ranked teams on their 2014 slate – Florida State (2), Virginia (3), North Carolina (4), Virginia Tech (5), Stanford (6), West Virginia (12), South Carolina (14), Notre Dame (16), Boston College (19), Wake Forest (21) and Penn State (24).
Taking the top slot in the poll was defending NCAA Champion UCLA, while Florida State, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Michigan, Florida, Texas A&M and Santa Clara rounded out the top 10. Filling out the rest of the ledger was Portland, West Virginia, Nebraska, South Carolina, Marquette, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Duke, Boston College, Georgetown, Wake Forest, BYU, UCF, Penn State and Denver.
The ACC led all conferences with eight teams ranked in the preseason listing.
Duke will host 14th-ranked South Carolina Thursday, Aug. 14 at 7:00 p.m., in an exhibition contest in Durham, N.C., followed by an exhibition match at UNC Wilmington Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. The Blue Devils will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 22 at 5:00 p.m., versus Ohio State in Chapel Hill, N.C.
For tickets to all of Duke’s home women’s soccer contests, contact the Duke Athletic Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE (2583) or call (877) 375-3853.