Northwestern is first in initial Men's RPI rankings

MEN'S NEWS ... Northwestern, ninth in this week's Soccer America Men's Top 25 with a 6-1-4 record, is first in the initial Men's Division I RPI index the NCAA released Tuesday.

(Click here for the complete men's RPI.)

The RPI -- Ratings Percentage Index -- is the most important of the criteria it uses to determine the 64-team field for the NCAA Division I Women's Tournament. The RPI is a mathematical formula designed to objectively compare results and strength of schedule.

Akron and UCLA, 1-2 in the Soccer America rankings, are 2-3 in the RPI index. Ten unranked teams are in the RPI Top 25 (see below). The highest ranked teams that did not make the RPI Top 25 are No. 5 UC Santa Barbara, No. 7 Louisville and No. 10 Connecticut. The four highest ranked Big East teams -- Louisville, Connecticut, South Florida and Georgetown -- with a combined eight losses did not make the cut, but 7-4-1 Notre Dame at No. 22 and 7-5-0 DePaul (unranked) did.

The ACC leads all conferences with six teams in the RPI top 10 -- including North Carolina, Wake Forest and N.C. State at 4-5-6 -- and the Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Ivy League, Pac-10 and WCC have two apiece. Reflecting the diversity in the men's game, 14 of the 22 Division I conferences that receive automatic bids are represented.

* MEN'S SOCCER (RPI TOP 25)
1 Northwestern, Big Ten (9)
2 Akron, Mid-American (1)
3 UCLA Pac-10 (2)
4 North Carolina, ACC (3)
5 Wake Forest, ACC (4)
6 N.C. St., ACC (12)
7 South Carolina, Conference USA (NR)
8 Duke, ACC (T25)
9 San Diego, WCC (NR)
10 Portland, WCC (NR)
11 Butler, Horizon (18)
12 Maryland, ACC (6)
13 Monmouth, Northeast (11)
14 New Mexico, MPSF (NR)
15 California, Pac-10 (13)
16 Tulsa, Conference USA (NR)
17 Indiana, Big Ten (23)
18 DePaul, Big East (NR)
19 Dartmouth, Ivy (NR)
20 Drake, Missouri Valley (NR)
21 American, Patriot (NR)
22 Virginia, ACC (17)
23 Charlotte, Atlantic 10 (NR)
24 Notre Dame, Big East (22)
25 Harvard, Ivy (8)

* LEE IN STABLE CONDITION. According to the University of Maryland, sophomore defender Alex Lee "has shown incredible progress over the past two days" and was listed in stable condition at George Washington University Hospital after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in the District of Columbia Saturday night.

Lee is a converted forward who started all 11 games for the defending national champion Terrapins on defense. He will be out of practice and competition indefinitely. Currently, no timetable has been set for his return to the field.

Men's Player of the Week: Ronnie Bouemboue, N.C. State
Men's Team of the Week

* LEADING GOAL SCORERS:
1. Andrew Bulls, UMBC 14
2. JC Banks, Green Bay 11
4. Andy Stadler, George Washington 9
4. Andrew Wiedeman, California 10
5. Matthew Skonicki, Winthrop 11
6. Teal Bunbury, Akron 9
6. Chris Cutshaw, Bradley 9
6. Giovanni Destasio, Iona 9
6. Matt Eliason, Northwestern 9
6. Levi Houapeu, UMBC 9
6. Conor O'Brien, Bucknell 9

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