|Rich Loeffler||Eric Hintz|
The University of Scranton men's soccer team is ranked 18th in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25 after opening the season with a pair of dominant victories.
The Royals (2-0) knocked off Penn State-Altoona, 4-0, on Friday night at Fitzpatrick Field, then followed that with a 2-0 win over Neumann on Saturday afternoon, also at Fitzpatrick Field. Six different players, including four freshmen, scored for Scranton, which featured a balanced offensive attack and solid defense in the two victories.
Senior midfielder Rich Loeffler (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) was the lone player to record more than two points over the weekend when he had a goal and an assist in Friday night's win. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Hintz (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) made five saves while earning the victory in both matches.
The Top 25 ranking marks the first time the Royals have been ranked nationally since they were ranked 10th in the preseason rankings last year after coming off an Elite Eight appearance in the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament and a No. 9 ranking to end that season.
Scranton is the only Landmark Conference team currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. To see the full NSCAA Top 25, click here.
The Royals are back on the pitch on Saturday, Sept. 6, when they face Rutgers-Newark at 3:30 p.m. at the Jimmy Mills Tournament at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa.