KINGSTON, R.I. - The Rhode Island men's soccer team has earned its first national ranking since the 2014 season, checking in at #25 in this week's Top Drawer Soccer Top-25. The Rams also claimed the #30 spot on College Soccer News' Top-30 and received votes in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25.
At 5-0-0 on the season, Rhode Island entered this week as one of just five programs nationwide with a perfect record. Wake Forest and Saint Mary's (Calif.) also have gone 5-0-0 to open the season while Kentucky is 4-0-0 and Cornell is 3-0-0.
With eight different players having combined for URI's 12 goals so far this season, the Rams currently rank 12th in the country in scoring offense with 2.40 goals per game. And while the Rams' offense has proven to be too much for opponents at times this season, the strength of Rhody's defense has been just as significant of a factor.
Through its first five games, Rhode Island is averaging 7.2 shots on goal per game while allowing the competition just 3.6. Rhody's veteran back line has helped make the transition to college seamless for newcomer goalkeepers Roger Penske (four games played) and Stefan Schmidt (one game played). Together, the duo has combined for five consecutive shutouts, marking the first time in program history Rhode Island has held its opponents scoreless in the first five games of a season.
Additionally, URI is one of just two programs nationwide that has yet to allow a goal this season. The other team, Kentucky (4-0-0), has played one less game that Rhody.
URI's Atlantic 10 rival Fordham also appeared in this week's national polls. The Bronx Rams were ranked #9 by College Soccer News, #11 by Top Drawer Soccer, #12 by United Soccer Coaches and #14 by Soccer America.
Rhode Island is back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 18 when it travels to longtime rival Providence for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Friars.