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Louisville soccer will begin season at No. 1

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The NCAA has released its official preseason top 25 rankings for men's soccer, and the Louisville Cardinals will begin their 2011 campaign as the top team in the land.

Immediately behind U of L is the team that knocked the Cards off in the 2010 national title game, Akron. Louisville will open its season on Aug. 27 against No. 6 UCLA, and its non-conference schedule also includes meetings with No. 3 North Carolina, No. 9 Michigan, No. 15 Ohio State and No. 17 Indiana.

Big East foes Connecticut and Notre Dame also made appearances in the rankings, checking in at No. 8 and No. 12, respectively.

The soccer Cards will take the field for the first time this Sunday in an exhibition game at St. Louis.