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Women's soccer ranked No. 19 in this week's NSCAA poll

September 29, 2009

For the first time since 2004, the Arizona State women's soccer team is ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 19 in this week's poll which came out today.

After a rash of injuries caused it to barely miss the postseason last year, ASU has come out in 2009 and established itself as a program to keep a close eye on, not only within the Pac-10, but also around the country.

At the season's midway point the Sun Devils are 7-1-2, a record that was achieved against a tough non-conference schedule. The seven victories tie the second-highest number of wins after 10 games in program history. The 1997 team was 9-1 while the 1999 (7-3-0) and 2002 (7-1-2) teams also won seven games.

The Sun Devils will now set their sights on the Pac-10 portion of their schedule, which will present them with an even tougher stretch of games. In addition to the Sun Devils, three other teams are currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25, including No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 UCLA and No. 14 California. While he knows that some of the team's biggest challenges lie ahead, third-year Sun Devil head coach Kevin Boyd feels the team has put itself in a position to have success in Pac-10 play and earn the team's first NCAA bid since 2003.

"We put ourselves in a very good position going into conference play," Boyd said. "We know we need to find some results in the conference to make sure we get into the playoffs but we feel good about what we have done in the non-conference. We had a very touch non-conference schedule and to come out 7-1-2 is outstanding and shows the character of this team."

The Sun Devils' success thus far has been a product of outstanding team work as 10 different players have scored goals this season led by junior forward Karin Volpe who leads the team in both goals (4) and points (11). Also contributing on the offensive end have been junior midfielder Alexandra Elston, who is second on the team in points with eight (3 goals, 2 assists) and redshirt freshman forward Courtney Tinnin who leads the team with five assists.

Defensively, senior All-American candidate Liz Harkin and senior goalkeeper Briana Silvestri have played a big part in limiting the opposition to less than a goal (0.66) per game.

After opening Pac-10 play on the road at USC (Oct. 9) and at UCLA (Oct. 11), the Sun Devils return home to face Washington State on Friday, October 16 at 7 p.m. For ticket information call 480-727-0000.

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