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Soccer team ranked top in nation

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by Cassie Florido

Senior Savannah Trujillo sprints down the Kevin Gray Field with the ball April 8. Trujillo scored a goal.

The STA varsity soccer team is ranked number one in the nation, according to Elite Soccer Report’s FAB 50 Spring standings. The 9-0 Stars started the season ranked sixth in the nation and have since climbed to the top of the rankings.

 

According to head coach Jeremy McElduff, the FAB top 50 ranking, updated every Tuesday, is based on many things such as wins and losses, big wins and big losses, the players on the team and word-of-mouth from area coaches.

 

McElduff said while trying to remain at the top of the rankings could add some pressure to the team, they don’t talk about it.

 

“We haven’t mentioned it all season,” McElduff said. “We talked about it some last year but only to be aware of it so [the team] knew how to handle it. We are trying to focus on getting ready for post-season play and hopefully, another run at the State title.”

 

Senior Mallory Radtke, who is signed to play at Rice University next year, said the team does not want the rankings to get to their heads.

 

“It doesn’t necessarily affect how we play because with or without the title of being number one in the nation we still want to play our best and remain undefeated,” Radtke said.

 

Junior Dorian Bailey, who is committed to play at The University of North Carolina, said the team was excited to be ranked number one but did not read into [the rankings] too much.

 

“We don’t really feel any pressure to remain number one because we are more concerned with improving as a team and playing well rather than the rankings.”

 

Last season the team finished ranked 12th in the FAB 50 rankings after their 2-1 State final loss to Eureka.

 

According to McElduff, this year the team is driven by the hopes of making it back the State finals. In order to reach the state game again this season, McElduff said he is preaching the progression of improvement every day to his team.

 

“We try to be a little better each day as individuals and as a team,” McElduff said. “We are focusing on specific aspects of our team in order to put us in the best position to win games and get back to the Final Four.”

 

According to Radtke, the ultimate goal of the team this year is to win State.

 

“Making it to the State finals was awesome last year, but getting second just makes us want to win so much more,” Radtke said. “Winning state, undefeated, and as the number one team in the nation would definitely be a great way to leave STA.”

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Soccer team ranked top in nation