Four Days to Soccer
Aug. 19, 2009
The Auburn soccer team kicks off the season in on Sunday, August 23rd at Samford at 6pm. In the days leading up to the season-opener, AuburnTigers.com will count backwards from 10, pointing out significant facts about the number of days left until the opener.
4 - Times Auburn has entered the season ranked in the Top 25
When Top Drawer Soccer tabbed Auburn 25th in the country in its 2009 preseason rankings, it marked the fourth time in school history that Auburn began a season as a Top 25 squad. The other years were 2003, 2004 and 2005.
Riding high off of a SEC Championship in 2002 when the team went 15-5-2 and won the outright SEC title with a 6-1-2 league mark, 2003 marked the first time the Auburn soccer program had received a preseason ranking as Soccer America labeled the Tigers No. 23 and Soccer Buzz put them at No. 17. Auburn went 14-4-3 (6-1-2 SEC) over the course of the season, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament to validate the early season love as Soccer Buzz placed Auburn No. 16 in its final rankings. Auburn reached as high as No. 10 in the Buzz rankings on Nov. 3, leading up to the SEC Tournament. The No. 10 ranking is the second-highest ranking Auburn has ever received, topped only by the No. 9 spot in the Sept. 16, 2002 Soccer Buzz poll.
Auburn returned to the preseason polls in 2004 when both Soccer America and Soccer Buzz tabbed Auburn as the 20th-best team in the country. Again the team lived up to the expectations, running off five straight wins to start the season en route to a 15-4-2 mark overall and a program-best 9-0-2 record in SEC play. Auburn would rise to as high as No. 16 in the Oct. 25 and Nov. 2 Soccer America polls while Soccer Buzz placed the Tigers No. 12 on Nov. 2. Another run into the second round of the NCAA Tournament finished off the season, and Soccer Buzz rewarded Auburn with a No. 13 ranking in its final poll, the highest Auburn has ever been ranked at the end of a season.
Auburn's run of preseason expectations continued in 2005 when Soccer Buzz put Auburn 24th in the country. The year did not go as planned for the team, however, as it struggled to an 8-12-1 (5-6-0 SEC) mark. Auburn faced six ranked opponents that season and went 1-5-0 against them.
Though Soccer Buzz and Soccer America have yet to come out with preseason predictions as of today, clearly those in the soccer community know just how good Karen Hoppa's team can be this season, but it will have to go through a tough schedule to get there. Top Drawer Soccer shows Auburn playing No. 2 North Carolina, No. 8 Florida, No. 20 Missouri and No. 23 Tennessee from its Top 25. It also predicts its Top 64 teams for the NCAA Tournament and includes 2009 opponents Dayton (No. 27), Georgia (No. 30), South Carolina (No. 45) and Samford (No. 54).
Click here to read No. 5 - Years with a SEC All-Freshmen Team selection
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