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Women's soccer moves to top of national polls

The Eagles have not lost a contest in their last 32 regular season games, going 28-0-4 during the stretch.

For the first time in the program's history, Emory University is the top-ranked NCAA Division III Women's Soccer team, according to both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and polls, released on Tuesday.

Emory received 14 of the 25 first place votes in the for a total of 601 points in the poll, placing just ahead of second-place Trinity University (6-0-1), which garnered 10 first-place votes and 596 points.  The top-25 poll is voted on by a panel of coaches, sports information directors, and media members from across the country.  In the NSCAA poll, based on regional rankings, the Eagles finished tied atop the poll with Trinity.

The Eagles had been ranked second in both polls last week, but with a pair of dominating victories over the weekend (during which the team did not allow a shot on goal), combined with a loss from previously top-ranked Wheaton College (Ill.), Emory moved into the top spot in both polls.

With the two wins, the Eagles improved to 6-0-2 on the season, which includes a 2-1 overtime win over currently third-ranked Messiah College, and a 2-2 double-overtime tie against 17th/15th-ranked Johns Hopkins University.  The Eagles have not lost a contest in their last 32 regular season games, going 28-0-4 during the stretch.

Prior to this season, Emory had never been ranked higher than fourth in a national poll, a mark the team reached during both the 2007 and 2011 seasons.  The Eagles began 2012 ranked sixth in the NSCAA preseason poll, moving up quickly to second in the first regular season poll, following their season-opening win at Messiah, then ranked first in Division III.  Emory was also ranked second in the initial poll, which was released after the second week of the season.

The Eagles' success this year has come from a combination of a stifling defense and a timely offense, which has allowed the squad to outscore its opponents 26-4 this season.  Emory has outshot opposing teams 196-35 during the year, including a 96-19 edge in shots on goal.  Over the team's last four games, all of which have been at home, the Eagles have outscored opposing teams 20-1, and held a 130-7 edge in shots.

The Eagles will continue their 2012 campaign this weekend, hosting the University of Chicago at 11:00 AM on Saturday, in the opening game of their University Athletic Association (UAA) schedule.  Emory has two more games this season against teams that are currently nationally ranked – Sunday, October 7th at Washington University (ranked 11th in the NSCAA poll and 13th in the poll) and Friday, October 26th at Brandeis University (ranked 20th in the NSCAA poll and 18th in the poll).

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