The Acadia Axewomen celebrate a win over St. FX in the U SPORTS Championship.
WOLFVILLE, N.S. - With the exhibition season coming to a close for both the Axewomen and Axemen soccer teams, U SPORTS first Top Ten rankings of the 53 university soccer programs in the country included both Acadia programs.
The Axewomen, 2016 U SPORTS Championship hosts and who finished the 2016 U SPORTS season with a fifth-place consolation championship win, dropped in the pre-season ranking to ninth position.
Last season, the Axewomen fell short in an AUS conference championship final, losing 2-1 in penalty kicks to the up-start St. FX X-Women who had eliminated the top seeded Cape Breton Capers in the semis.
The Axewomen’s exhibition season has been successful so far with a 3-0 win against UQTR at Queen’s, a 2-0 victory against Algonquin College in Ottawa, and a 1-1 draw against the No. 5 ranked Queen’s Gaels.
“The rankings in the Top 10 with both the Canadian University Sports Network (CUSN) and U SPORTS are nice and good for fan interest, and you’ll see many Acadia teams in the top 10 over the year, which is a testament to the many positives things going on in our athletic department,” said head coach Amit Batra.
“We also always say, ‘Show me – don’t tell me’ on our team, so our focus will be on what we have to do to prepare for our first game. We can’t win a championship in August,” Batra said.
On the men’s side, the Axemen, who gained national attention for their 2016 season, landed in seventh position on the U SPORTS National Top Ten ranking chart.
The Axemen wrapped up last season with a second place AUS championship finish that earned them a spot at the 2016 U SPORTS championship hosted by the University of Guelph. The Axemen fell short in toppling the host Guelph Gryphons in quarterfinal action with a heart-breaking penalty kick loss.
Acadia’s results in two exhibition games have been positive with a 2-0 win over Mt. Allison, and a 1-1 draw against Halifax’s Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Only time will tell if this year’s teams are Top Ten worthy. Acadia’s soccer teams open the AUS regular season at home on Friday, Sept. 8, beginning at 5 p.m. (women’s) and 7:15 p.m. (men’s) against the UNB Varsity Reds.
U SPORTS Top Ten Rankings – Men’s and Women’s Soccer
1. Alberta Golden Bears
2. UQAM Citadins
3. Guelph Gryphons
4. Cape Breton Capers
5. UBC Thunderbirds
6. York Lions
7. Acadia Axemen
8. Toronto Varsity Blues
9. Ryerson Rams
10. UQTR Thunderbirds
1. Laval Rouge et Or
2. UOIT Ridgebacks
3. UBC Thunderbirds
4. Trinity Western Spartans
5. Queen's Gaels
6. Montreal Carabins
7. Calgary Dinos
8. Cape Breton Capers
9. Acadia Axewomen
10. Western Mustangs