Penn State’s women’s soccer program received 678 votes to begin the year ranked No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll released this week. The Nittany Lions garnered one first-place vote.
Penn State opens its season on Aug. 23 at home against Stanford, which is ranked No. 3 in the poll.
The Nittany Lions fell to Minnesota on penalty last kicks in the Big Ten championship last season. Penn State claimed the conference’s regular-season crown by going 9-2 in league play and reached the NCAA quarterfinals before dropping a 1-0 match against eventual national champion Florida State to finish the year 18-6-1.
Wisconsin (No. 16) joins Penn State in the poll as Big Ten representatives. Wisconsin hosts Penn State on Sept. 29.
Including the Badgers, the Nittany Lions play top-25 opponents No. 9 Virginia (Sept. 15) and No. 11 West Virginia (Sept. 6).
Junior midfielder Samantha Coffey, senior defender Kaleigh Riehl and junior forward/midfielder Frankie Tagliaferri earned nods with selections for the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list. The trophy is given to the nation’s top female player of the year. Coffey and Riehl were MAC Hermann Trophy finalists last season.
Penn State opened the 2018 season ranked No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.