Tiger soccer jumps into national rankings
Published on -9/5/2012, 10:13 AM
By KLINT SPILLER
The Fort Hays State University men's soccer team is on the national radar for the first time.
The Tigers (2-0) were ranked No. 13 in the first regular season National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll for NCAA Division II released Tuesday.
While quite the compliment toward his program, FHSU head coach Brett Parker said it places a bulls-eye on his team's back.
"It's up to us to focus on this weekend coming up and stay (in the rankings) as long as we can," Parker said.
The FHSU men's program is in just its second year of existence, but the Tigers have had a successful run so far, going 11-5-2 in 2011.
In the preseason poll, FHSU was listed as receiving votes, but 4-1 and 3-2 victories against Colorado Christian University and South Dakota School of Mines helped lift FHSU to No. 13.
"To jump as high as we did, it's good, but it obviously doesn't mean anything at this point of the season," Parker said. "But it's a good starting point."
What is important to Parker is the regional ranking, which decides what teams go to the post-season, and in the NSCAA Central Region Rankings, FHSU is ranked No. 1 with MIAA foe Northeastern State University at No. 2. The top two teams in the regional rankings make the national tournament.
While Parker admits early national polling doesn't mean much, he said it's good to see his team earn recognition.
"As much as I want to downplay it -- because it doesn't mean a lot -- it's still a good accomplishment and is a credit to the players and what they've accomplished," Parker said.