Polls and the WPS Draft

Former Illini standout Ella Masar continues to make her mark in the world of soccer.  Yesterday, the Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer drafted Masar ninth overall in the first round of the WPS draft.  Masar is currently playing professionally in Norway, along with former Illini teammate Lindsey Carstens.

Also, another honor for Emily Zurrer.  This time, it's Soccer America naming her to its Team of the Week for her performance in a pair of Illini shutouts over the weekend.

It's poll time.  First up today is the coaches' poll from Soccer Times.  Apparently, the coaches polled here don't have a very high regard for the Big Ten.  Illinois is the only team ranked in their top 25, at number 20.  That's up three spots from last week.  Michigan State was ranked 22nd last week, but dropped out after losses to Illinois and Purdue.  The Spartans are still receiving votes, along with Penn State, Purdue and Minnesota.

Next is Soccer Buzz.  The Buzz has Illinois at number 22 this week, up two spots from last week.  The Illini are one spot behind Purdue, at number 21.  Three other conference squads made it into this top 30 poll.  Minnesota is at number 24, Penn State at 26 and Michigan State at 27.

On to the yo-yo that is the Soccer America poll.  After being dropped out of the poll last week, the Illini are back in at number 17 this week.  Also bouncing back into the rankings is Purdue, at number 23.  Minnesota is ranked by Soccer America for the third straight week, moving up one spot to number 24.  Michigan State drops out, after being ranked 20th last week.

Top Drawer Soccer is next in our list of polls.  Thanks again to managing editor Rob Ziegler, who took time out of his busy schedule to join me on Sportstalk last Friday to talk about the Big Ten season.  Rob, who compiles the rankings for Top Drawer, is pretty high on the Illini.  He moved them up eight spots this week to number 14.  Penn State is right behind at 15th, also moving up eight spots after a pair of wins over the weekend.  Purdue checks in at number 17, up from 19th last week.  Finally, Ohio State makes its first appearance in the Top Drawer Top 64, at number 40, after a six-game winning streak, including a 3-0 start in the Big Ten.

Finally, it's the NSCAA rankings.  The Illini jump up five spots this week, from 21st to 16th.  Penn State is the only other Big Ten team in this week's poll, at number 23, up from 25th a week ago.  Purdue and Minnesota also received votes this week.

Tomorrow, I think we'll take another look at RPI in women's soccer.  Talk to you then.

bmoline@wdws.com

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