UNC-Greensboro's athletic program reached another milestone this week in its journey to reach Division I as its men's and women's soccer teams are each ranked No. 1 in the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America poll in NCAA Division II.
Never in the history of the poll has one school occupied both top spots. This week, two schools have that honor.Santa Clara accomplished the same feat in Division I. Its women's team replaced North Carolina after fifth-ranked Connecticut beat the Tar Heels 3-2 Saturday to snap a 103-game streak without a loss. North Carolina dropped to second in the poll, ranked by a panel of coaches.
This is the first time since the UNCG women's team was founded in 1988 that it has been ranked No. 1.
``I think this is classic example of hard work and setting goals,' UNCG Athletic Director Nelson Bobb said. ``We have demonstrated in the past the prowess of the men's program, and we've made tremendous strides in women's program.
``We haven't arrived at the level we intend to be at, but we have arrived at the level we want to be at in 1990-91.'
This is the third and final season at Division II for the Spartans. Next year, they'll jump to Division I. For now they are on top of the heap.
Coach Michael Parker's men's team is 8-0-0. It amassed 180 votes in the poll, 16 better than No. 2 Southern Connecticut State. The men have led the list since the opening week of the season.
Coach Jack Poland's women's team upped their record to 5-3-0 with weekend wins over defending national champion Barry College 3-0 and Quincy 1-0 at Campus Field, jumping from fifth in the poll last week to No. 1 this week. Keene State of New Hampshire is second, four votes behind.
``I witnessed both the Berry and Quincy matches,' Bobb said, ``and what pleases me most is against Barry we showed the determination we needed to have to win. Against Quincy, I thought we were flat, but it's a mark of a good team to overcome that and win.
``I've got to give credit to the men, too. They were 11 seconds from being defeated, and they turned that into a 4-2 win,' Bobb said of last weekend's game against Florida Tech. ``They showed great determination to win, a bend-but-don't-break attitude. I just appreciate it. It makes a nice statement for the city.
``I think it's fair to say the players come to UNCG because of our commitment to soccer and also because this is a great city for soccer, not only for our campus but for the other campuses here, too.'
The two teams play a doubleheader at Davidson College today. The women's game starts at 3 p.m. The men follow at 5 p.m.
Davidson, ranked 20th this week in the men's Division I poll, is UNCG's sixth opponent ranked in one of the ISAA polls.
Four ACC schools are listed in the men's Division I Top 20. Clemson moved from sixth to fourth. The Tigers' only setback this year was a 2-1 loss to UNCG. Virginia is fifth, and N.C. State is sixth. North Carolina holds down the 16th spot.
For the first time in years, coach Anson Dorrance's women's team at North Carolina is not ranked No. 1 in Division I. Other area schools in the women's poll are Virginia (third), William & Mary (seventh), N.C. State (ninth) and Duke (14th).
In the men's Division III poll, Greensboro College moved from 13th to a tie for 10th. Coach Doug Hamilton's Hornets are 7-1-0 and travel to Ferrum College Saturday. Methodist College in Fayetteville is tied for 18th. Methodist is atop the women's Division III poll.
In the NAIA poll, Catawba's men's team, coached by former UNCG assistant Peter Broadley, is 18th. Elon's women's team, coached by Rob Brewer, is eighth.