For the first time since 2002, the Wisconsin mens soccer team finds itself ranked among the best teams in the country in the national polls. The Badgers (6-3-2 overall, 2-0-1 Big Ten) are ranked 22nd in both the Soccer America Mens Top 25 and the SoccerTimes.com Top 25 Coaches Poll and 24th in the College Soccer News Top 30 National Poll.
Wisconsin had not been ranked since Sept. 9, 2002, when the team earned the No. 22 spot in the NSCAA National Rankings. That year the Badgers opened the season 4-0-0 in head coach Jeff Rohrmans first season at Wisconsin.
UW has not been ranked in October since 1996. That squad was ranked in the NSCAA Rankings during every week of the regular season, but fell out of the poll heading into the Big Ten tournament. The team rose as high at seventh on Oct. 14 and claimed 23rd on Oct. 28 before falling out of the poll the next week.
Rohrman appreciates the attention that his team is getting in the national polls, but understands that there is still a long way left to go this season.
Its nice to be mentioned along with the best teams in the country, Rohrman said, but its also just the opinion of coaches and writers. We still need to go out and play.
Being ranked is confirmation that were doing well through 11 games, but our goal is to still be there through 18 games.
The Badgers will get their first chance to test out their new rankings when they play host to Western Illinois at 6 p.m. Wednesday at McClimon Soccer Complex.