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BATON ROUGE – As members of the LSU soccer program prepare for another big weekend in SEC play, the Tigers have been rewarded for competing against one of the strongest schedules in the country to this point in the season with a No. 34 national ranking following the release of the NCAA’s first Ratings Percentage Index of 2011 on Wednesday morning.
The RPI is the primary ratings system used by the NCAA when determining which squads will receive at-large bids to compete in the 2011 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament following the regular season.
LSU is looking to make a return to the NCAA Tournament this fall for the fourth time in five seasons as it earned an at-large berth into the postseason in three-straight years from 2007-09.
The Tigers wrapped up the non-conference season with a 5-3-1 mark, highlighted by a 1-1 draw against a Pepperdine squad that is ranked No. 14 in the first RPI of the 2011 season. LSU then kicked off SEC play with a weekend sweep of Mississippi State on Friday night and Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon to improve to 7-3-1 and sit at the top of the league table with six points in a three-way tie for first place.
In fact, none of the Tigers’ three defeats this season have come to teams ranked outside the Top 30 for the initial RPI, including No. 6 Memphis, No. 28 Rice and No. 30 NC State.
“We’ve challenged ourselves with one of the strongest schedules in the country to prepare us for what lies ahead while competing in one of the elite conferences in the country in 2011,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “We have a great challenge and a great opportunity in this league to build on our NCAA Tournament resume against some of the best teams in the country. It just shows the strength of our league that we play eight of our last nine SEC games against the Top 50 in the RPI.”
The Southeastern Conference has certainly proven itself as one of the premier leagues in the country with the performance of its 12 member institutions to this point in the season as it is currently the No. 2-ranked conference in the country in the RPI behind only the Atlantic Coast Conference.
LSU is one of nine clubs ranked in the Top 50 of the RPI as they join the likes of No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Auburn, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 24 Tennessee, No. 32 Vanderbilt, No. 38 Alabama, No. 46 South Carolina and No. 47 Georgia. The SEC and ACC are the only conferences in the country with nine teams currently ranked in the Top 50 of the RPI following Wednesday’s release.
The Texas A&M Aggies, who are set to join the SEC for the 2012 season, are ranked No. 20 in the RPI as 10 of the league’s 13 teams next fall are ranked among the nation’s Top 50 for the 2011 campaign.
While the SEC and ACC have proven to be the premier leagues in the country this season with nine teams in the RPI Top 50, the West Coast Conference follows with five Top 50 teams, while both the Big 10 and Pac 12 Conference feature four teams apiece and the Big 12 Conference has just three Top 50 teams.
NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer RPI (as of Sept. 28, 2011)
1. UCLA, 8-0-1
2. Wake Forest, 10-1-0
3. Duke, 11-1-0
4. Florida, 8-3-0
5. Auburn, 8-1-1
6. Memphis, 10-0-0
7. Virginia, 6-1-1
8. Boston College, 8-0-2
9. Stanford, 9-0-1
10. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 10-1-0
11. Oklahoma State, 13-0-0
12. Kentucky, 8-2-0
13. Florida State, 8-3-0
14. Pepperdine, 8-0-4
15. North Carolina, 6-2-0
16. Central Florida, 6-2-2
17. California, 8-2-0
18. Santa Clara, 5-1-4
19. Miami (Fla.), 7-3-0
20. Texas A&M, 8-4-0
21. Wisconsin, 7-3-1
22. Dayton, 10-1-0
23. Penn State, 9-3-0
24. Tennessee, 8-2-0
25. Boston University, 8-2-1
26. West Virginia, 8-3-0
27. Marquette, 10-2-0
28. Rice, 6-3-1
29. Maryland, 7-2-3
30. NC State, 8-3-1
31. Georgetown, 9-3-0
32. Vanderbilt, 6-4-0
33. Ohio State, 7-3-1
34. LSU, 7-3-1
35. Notre Dame, 4-5-2



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