In STACK's soccer rankings, we take you beyond wins and losses to reveal what truly makes a college soccer team great. To come up with our list of the top 10 men's soccer programs, we consider a variety of factors—not just a team's record, but also academic rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Academic Progress Rates. The result is a list of schools we'd recommend to any soccer player seeking an elite athletic program and a strong education. Learn more about how we arrived at our rankings through the Elite 50 guide, and browse through STACK's rankings for 20 other sports at the bottom of this page.
STACK's Top 10 Men's Soccer Teams
|College||Score||'12 U.S. News Rank||APR [Out of 1,000]||National Ranking '10/'09/'08||Games Above .500 [Past 3 Seasons]||STACK Factor|
|2. North Carolina||99.33||29||962||3/4/3||33||144|
|6. Wake Forest||70.84||25||983||NR/3/2||31||24|
Inside the Rankings: Maryland Soccer
Maryland is on the cusp of creating a dynasty in men's soccer. Their national championships in 2005 and 2008, together with their perennial deep runs in the College Cup, have made them one of the highest performing programs in collegiate soccer history.
The Terps' success is rooted in their focus on being faster, fitter and stronger than any other team in the nation. When a soccer player arrives in College Park, team strength and conditioning coach Barry Kagan is waiting for him. "We get the young guys acclimated to our training immediately," he says. And the intense focus doesn't let up when the season begins; it extends all the way through the postseason. "You can never lose that training consistency, or your performance will suffer," Kagan adds. "That's why we train hard all season, all the way up until the big game."
The team's hard work is recognized and rewarded by the Terp faithful, who come out in droves to support their squad. In 2010, Maryland soccer boasted the second highest attendance in the nation, and a record crowd of 7,260 watched them defeat archrival Duke. Over the past eight seasons, they averaged more than 2,000 fans per game at Ludwig Field, making them one of the most heavily supported teams in college soccer.
Check out the rest of STACK's college rankings:
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