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Arizona soccer finally cracks Top 25, rises considerably in RPI

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Another big weekend coming up

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

It took a while, but the Arizona soccer team finally got some national respect. The Wildcats check in at No. 25 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll, their first appearance in the rankings this season.

Previously, the Wildcats (7-3, 1-2 Pac-12) were struggling to even receive votes, despite having some quality wins over TCU and Oklahoma.

Arizona split against the L.A. schools last weekend, beating No. 22 UCLA, 3-0, before falling to No. 4 USC, 1-0.

The Wildcats have a difficult road trip to the Pacific Northwest this weekend where they will face No. 15 Washington State and Washington on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

WSU is 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12, with conference wins over Cal and Oregon State. Its lone league loss was to No. 2 Stanford.

Washington (6-3-2, 2-1) typically finishes in the bottom half of the conference, but it has picked up some quality victories over Cal and Oregon so far.

Arizona’s three losses are to Santa Clara, USC, and Colorado. All three are in the Top 25 or just outside of it. CU received 26 votes this week, making it the No. 29 team in the country.

After the trip to Washington, Arizona has another road game against Utah (6-3-3, 1-0-2) next Friday.

RPI going up

Arizona’s RPI jumped from 55 to 42 this week. The Wildcats could experience a similar jump next week if they get favorable results over WSU (14) and Washington (32).

The top 32 teams in the country host the first round of the NCAA Tournament, so the Wildcats want to be within that range by the end of the year.

Chris Henderson of AllWhiteKit.com currently has Arizona (and eight other Pac-12 teams!) in his field of 64.

Burdett makes NWSL Save of the Week

It was quite the week for former UA keeper Lainey Burdett, who not only made her professional debut with the Orlando Pride, but also made the NWSL Save of the Week after leaping to slap a screamer over the crossbar:

She is the first UA product to play in the NWSL. She completed her college career last fall as Arizona’s all-time shutouts leader, before signing with the Pride as an undrafted free agent.