Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Panthers Ranked 24th In Final NSCAA Soccer Poll

In the final NSCAA national poll of the 2008 season, the Panthers found themselves nationally-ranked at season's end for the first time as a Division I program. UWM finished 24th on the strength of an 18-3-2 season. The Panthers won a ninth-straight league title, captured the league tournament title and advanced to a seventh NCAA Tournament.

Milwaukee, which was 16th in the final preseason poll, had previously received votes in the final poll of the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The last time UWM was ranked at season's end was 1989, when records show the Panthers were 19th in the final NCAA Division II ISCAA poll.

The release of the final poll is the latest good news for the Panthers, which saw Sarah Teegarden earn All-America Third Team honors from the NSCAA over the weekend. She was joined by two others on the All-Region First Team in Nicole Sperl and Sarah Hagen. Erin Kane was selected to the second team.

Hagen was selected to the All-Rookie Team earlier this season.

Two more publications have yet to publish their All-Americans in Soccer Buzz and Soccer America. Ginny Graczyk in 2006 was the program's only Soccer Buzz All-America, while the publication honored Teegarden (honorable mention) and Kane (third team) as Freshman All-Americans in 2005. Kane was a first-team All-American according to Soccer America that same year.

Also, with the crowning of a national champion, the NCAA's final statistics report was published with Hagen finishing second in the nation with 24 goals and fourth with 54 points. Two goals by North Carolina's Casey Nogiuera in the title game sealed first place in both categories (25 goals, 58 points). Hagen was also third in goals per game (1.043) and sixth in points per game (2.35). The Panthers as a team also finished seventh in the nation in goals (65) and goals per game (2.83), ninth in winning percentage (.826) and in the top 45 in both GAA and shutout percentage.