The 2016 iteration of UConn Men’s Soccer saw a disappointing end with a 2-0 loss in the American Athletic Conference semifinals to Tulsa, helping them finish outside of the 48-team field for the second time in three seasons.
But that was last year, this is this year. On Thursday, the United Soccer Coaches poll, formerly the NSCAA Coaches poll, was released and the Huskies are ranked No. 24 in the country.
They are the only team in The American ranked in the poll, but the Huskies do have three 2017 opponents ranked in the top 15.
Maryland is ranked No. 6 after an 18-1-2 season that included a Big Ten regular season title as well as a tournament championship. The Terrapins are coming to Morrone Stadium on Oct. 2.
Providence, which beat Maryland in last year’s NCAA tournament, holds a No. 12 ranking heading into the 2017 season. The Friars lost in the semifinals of the Big East tournament but earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they went all the way to the quarterfinals before they lost to North Carolina. Providence lost to UConn 1-0 last season and the series shifts to Storrs on Sept. 26.
Notre Dame is the final team the Huskies will face in 2017 that are currently among the 25 best squads in the country according to the coaches. When they take the field for the first time, the Fighting Irish will have a No. 10 next to their name after an 11-6-2 year in 2016. Notre Dame won 1-0 in extra time in South Bend last year and the Huskies will play host on Sept. 2.
The Huskies will debut on Aug. 13 at 1 p.m. in an exhibition against Rutgers in New Jersey and the season begins for real on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. against Iona at Morrone Stadium.