The Arizona soccer team had a short stay in the polls.
Ranked 25th last week, the Wildcats dropped out of the Top 25 this week after splitting its road trip against the Washington schools.
Kelcey Cavarra scored late Thursday to lead the Wildcats past then-No. 15 Washington State in Pullman, but they blew a late lead Sunday in a 3-2 double-overtime loss to Washington, preventing UA from capturing its first-ever Pac-12 road sweep.
The better, and more important, news is that the Wildcats continue to climb in RPI, the metric used by the selection committee to determine the NCAA Tournament field.
Arizona was ranked 55th in RPI a couple weeks ago, before jumping to 42 last week and 34th this week. The sweet spot is the top 32, since that’s how many teams host the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats (8-4, 2-3) have a critical match Friday at Utah (6-5-3, 1-2-2). The Utes, a defensive-minded team, rank 52nd in RPI.
A loss would probably bump Arizona back a few spots in RPI, while a win would likely keep them on an upward track. It depends how the teams ranked around them fare too.
Arizona hasn’t lost consecutive games all season.
UA freshman receives recognition
Arizona’s Madison Goerlinger was listed in TopDrawerSoccer’s Midseason Freshman Top 100, checking in at No. 65.
The Orange, California native has started in 11 of 12 games this season, notching two goals. Goerlinger is listed as a defender/midfielder but has gotten time at all three levels of the pitch.
She was a record-setting track star in high school, but has a well-rounded skill set.
“She’s tall, she’s fast, she’s really good in the air, and I think those are three really good components of getting yourself on the field,” junior forward Jada Talley said of Goerlinger earlier in the season. “And then you mix that with soccer—she’s good on the ball—I feel like that put her ahead of some of the people in her class.”
Talley, by the way, is the No. 43 player in TopDrawerSoccer’s updated National Top 100.