Mustang soccer cracks top 25

MARSHALL- The Southwest Minnesota State University women’s soccer team is ranked No. 21 in the National Soccer Coaches

Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Women’s preseason national rankings.

Coach T.J. Buchholz appreciated the acknowledgement. “It’s always an honor to be recognized nationally. We are grateful for that,” he said over the phone.

However, Buchholz does not that much stock in the list.

“It’s more of a tribute to last year’s team. Right now we are zero and zero, just like everybody else in the country,” he said. “We just want to get off to a good start,” he added.

In 2013, the Mustangs went 17-4-2 and qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. They finished the season ranked No. 18 overall.

The team returns 10 starters and seven of their top eight scorers.

Fellow Northern Sun Conference teams Minnesota Duluth and and Minnesota State were ranked as well. The NSCAA ranked Duluth No. 8 and Mankato No. 15.

SMSU opens practice on Aug. 18 and will begin the regular season with a home game versus Fort Hays State (Kan.) on Sept. 5.