See ball; hit rankings

FLC women’s soccer side rejoins the top 25

Emma Cannis kept her eyes on the ball to the tune of one goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over Colorado Mesa on Sunday in Dirks Field. Fort Lewis College is 5-0-1 in its last six games, and the Skyhawks rejoined the top-25 rankings Tuesday at No. 22. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file photo

Emma Cannis kept her eyes on the ball to the tune of one goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over Colorado Mesa on Sunday in Dirks Field. Fort Lewis College is 5-0-1 in its last six games, and the Skyhawks rejoined the top-25 rankings Tuesday at No. 22.

After taking three weeks off from the national spotlight, the Fort Lewis College women’s soccer program thought it high time to rejoin the top-25 discussion.

On Tuesday, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America ranked FLC as its 22nd-best team in the Division II ranks. It’s a far cry from the Skyhawks’ No. 2 slot Sept. 11, but the team received votes for the first time since the Sept. 25 rankings. They were ranked in the NSCAA top-25 poll the first four weeks of the season.

“We’re playing well,” sixth-year head coach and FLC soccer alumnus Damian Clarke said in a news release. “If that’s what we’re getting recorgnition for, then we’ll leave it at that.”

FLC (10-2-2, 6-2-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) won a pair of home games last weekend, defeating CSU-Pueblo 1-0 on Friday at Dirks Field, then beating Colorado Mesa 4-1 on Sunday in a game Clarke described as one of the team’s best performances this season.

FLC hasn’t lost in six games and is 5-0-1 the last two weeks.

FLC will play Regis (9-4-1, 7-2-1 RMAC) on Friday in Denver and CSU-Pueblo (1-11-1, 1-9-0 RMAC) on Sunday in Pueblo.

Both FLC and Regis are contending for the RMAC regular-season crown and one of six berths from the South Central Region to the NCAA Tournament. All-time, Regis owns a 25-10-3 record against the Skyhawks, but FLC is 5-3-2 against the Rangers under Clarke.

“This is a huge game for both teams,” Clarke said. “I think the regional implications are massive. Hopefully we can come out and be similar to what we were this past Sunday. If so, then it’s going to be a fantastic game.”

Minnesota State-Mankato (12-1-1) was ranked first in the nation, followed by Armstrong Atlantic State (10-1-1), Long Island-Post (12-1-1), West Florida (13-1-0) and Sonoma State (12-1-1).

The only other RMAC team receiving top-25 consideration was UC-Colorado Springs. The Mountain Lions received votes but finished just outside the top 25.

In the men’s top-25 poll, Regis was ranked first in the nation and was the only RMAC school in the listings.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com

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