Senior Tracy Stratton Garner and the No. 15 Ute soccer team opens at No. 14 Stanford on Friday.
Aug. 23, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah and the University of Florida are the only two schools in the nation to have their football, women's soccer and women's volleyball teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 national polls. The Ute football team is ranked No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll and No. 20 by the Associated Press. Women's soccer is ranked 15th by SoccerAmerica, while women's volleyball is 24th in the USA Today/CSTV Poll. "Obviously, these are only preseason rankings, but they speak to the respect that people throughout the country have for our student-athletes and coaches," said Utah athletics director Dr. Chris Hill. "We're excited to have an athletics program that is successful in many areas, and we are excited about the upcoming season for all of our sports." All three teams competed in postseason play in 2003. In Urban Meyer's first season, he led Utah football to a 10-2 record, a Mountain West Conference championship and a Liberty Bowl victory over Southern Mississippi. Women's soccer went 16-2-2, won the Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Rich Manning's second year on The Hill. Beth Launiere directed the women's volleyball team to a 22-9 mark and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Ute women's soccer is the first of the three teams to get its season underway, opening at No. 14 Stanford on Friday. Utah then returns home to host Gonzaga on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Ute Field. Women's volleyball opens against UVSC at Crimson Court on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7:00 p.m. Football hosts Texas A&M at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally by ESPN.