Updated Tue, Sep 6, 2011 8:28 pm
With wins in its first five games - including a 2-1 victory over previously sixth-ranked Ohio State - Ohio field hockey is ranked 27th in the country in the newest NCAA coaches poll.
North Carolina is the top team in America, followed by Old Dominion, Maryland, Connecticut and Syracuse.
Ohio (5-0) beat St. Francis (PA) and Richmond at home to start the season, and beat the Buckeyes, St. Joseph's and Temple in the first three games of a five-game road trip.
Ohio got 59 points in the September 6 version of the poll, after being outside the top 40 in the preseason poll August 23. But after strong play, especially defensively, where Ohio's Jen McGill has notched three shutouts in the first five games - the 'Cats are gaining attention.
"It means a lot," McGill said. "I think it says a lot about our program and our hard work that we've put into this pre-season. I think it makes a big statement."
Head coach Neil Macmillan takes the opposite approach to the rankings, as plenty of coaches do.
"The rankings don't really mean anything," Macmillan said. "It's nice to be ranked, and it's a great honor that your peers are looking at you because it's a coaches poll, but really it doesn't matter. We just worry about who we're playing next.
Macmillan's squad stays on the road for the next two games, at American University on Saturday and at Robert Morris University on September 16 before returning home September 18 to play Indiana.