KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jumping out to a 2-0 start and coming off one of the most phenomenal seasons in program history, the UTSA soccer team has received a No. 3 ranking in the 2023's first edition of the United Soccer Coaches South Region poll. This placement sends the Roadrunners to a new milestone with highest ranking in program history after receiving two Regional rankings last season.
Rising to No. 3 in the opening poll, the 2023 squad beats out last year's prolific team, which climbed as high as No. 5 in the South in September 2022. Last season's rankings were the first in the program's 18-year history. The Roadrunners sit only behind conference-mates Memphis and North Texas in the South Region.
"It's still really early in the season and a long way to go, but really happy for our team to get this level of recognition after our opening weekend," sixth-year head coach Derek Pittman said. "Our players are focused on our next game against a very good Kansas State team. We aim to perform better every time we step on the field and this week is no different."
The 2023 Roadrunners are among just 67 teams that have opened up with a 2-0 record to start the season, and one of only three in the American Athletic Conference. A big contributing factor in the fast start, the Roadrunners have a commanding balance of offense and defense. While UTSA has recorded an AAC-leading 47-3 shot differential across the first two non-conference contests, the Roadrunners lead or tie for the conference lead in eight other statistics: total points (24), points per game (12.00), scoring offense (3.50), total goals (7) shots per game (23.5), shots on goal per game (12.5), assists (10) and assists per game (5.0). For those stat categories, UTSA also comes in nationally at fifth in assists and assists per game, as well as 15th in total points, 15th in points per game, 16th in shots on goal per game and 17th in shots per game.
For their part in the effort, fifth-year defender Deja Sandoval was named the opening week American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week, while junior midfielder Jordyn Hyland was named to the AAC's Weekly Honor Roll after tallying three assists.
The Roadrunners are coming off a landmark season in 2022, logging a 12-6-4 overall record with a whopping 7-1-1 (83.3 percent) mark at home. UTSA closed out the year in historic fashion, sweeping through three games at the Conference USA Tournament, defeating Florida Atlantic in overtime, 3-2, for their first conference tournament title since 2010 – earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament, where they battled fifth-seeded TCU to a 3-1 loss in Fort Worth.
The Roadrunners head to Manhattan, Kansas this week for their first road test on Thursday night, taking on a 1-0-1 Kansas State team in a likely circled rematch from last year, after the Wildcats fell to the Roadrunners, 2-1, at Park West last August.
About United Soccer Coaches
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., United Soccer Coaches is the trusted and unifying voice, advocate and partner for coaches at all levels of the game. The largest community for soccer coaches in the world, we unite coaches of all levels around the love of the game, and we elevate the game through advocacy, education and service.
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