The fall sports season keeps inching closer, and there’s no better marker of that than preseason polls. United Soccer Coaches, formerly the National Soccer Coaches Association Of America, released their NCAA Division 1 preseason top 25 polls on Thursday.
It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that neither Marquette squad is ranked to start the season. The men’s team finished the 2016 campaign with a record of 5-7-4, and that’s no way to earn preseason votes for the next season. The women’s team might be closer to the top 25, though. With a record of 12-8-2, Markus Roeders coached his squad to a share of the Big East regular season title and an at-large berth in the 2016 NCAA tournament. That would have made them one of the top 40 teams or so, which would have them at least in shouting distance of the top 25 to kick off 2017. Unfortunately, USC did not release an “also receiving votes” group for their poll, so we don’t know how close the Golden Eagles are.
We’ll get a good idea pretty quickly of how close they are when the season starts on August 18th, though. Stanford is the first opponent for the Marquette women, and the Cardinal start the schedule as USC’s #2 ranked team. That’s the only preseason ranked team that Marquette will see before league play starts. It’s entirely possible that the Golden Eagles could end up playing the #1 team in the country in October. MU is set to visit Georgetown on October 19th, and the Hoyas start the season ranked #5 in the country. It’s not a huge leap to think that Georgetown could ascend to the top spot over the first two months of the season.
Over on the men’s side, the Golden Eagles will see two preseason ranked teams in non-conference action and three during league play. As luck would have it, four of the five games will be played at Valley Fields. First up is #20 New Mexico, with the Lobos coming to Milwaukee on September 4th. The Golden Eagles will visit #13 Virginia on September 12th for the lone road game amongst this group. Three of Marquette’s four home games in Big East action will be against ranked foes when they host #12 Providence (October 7th), #14 Creighton (October 25th), and #25 Butler (October 28th), and the game against the Bulldogs will also be Senior Night in the Valley.
As mentioned earlier, the MU women start the season on August 18th when they host #2 Stanford, while the men will kick off the campaign on August 25th with a road trip to play Kentucky.