Right Where We Started: PSU Back to 11th in Second ACHA Ranking

Penn State gained one spot, to 11th, in the newest ACHA Women's Division 1 ranking, released late on Wednesday and including games played through Sunday, November 23rd.

Eleventh matches the Lady Ice Lions' preseason poll slotting, before PSU (now 9-3-0 overall) fell to 12th in the first in-season survey.

The minimal movement came in spite of a 5-1-0 record during the second ranking period, highlighted by a road win over Rhode Island - now the third-ranked team in the country - on November 9th. Penn State is the only team in the division outside of the top five to register a win against a top-five opponent this season. PSU's sole defeat in the time frame came the previous day, against URI.

Defending national champion Miami unanimously retained the top spot, receiving all 20 first-place votes from the D1 coaches, while Liberty stayed in second despite the Flames losing their last three games (once to URI on November 16th, then twice to Miami last Friday and Saturday). The ECWHL's URI was next, with unbeaten Michigan State and Massachusetts, another of PSU's conference foes, rounding out the top five.

The Lady Ice Lions have five more games scheduled against that collection of teams this season: Liberty on December 5th and 6th, UMass on January 10th and 11th and Miami on January 18th. Meetings with the Minutewomen and Rhode Island are also possibilities at the ECWHL playoffs, slated for February 20th through 22nd.

Vermont was the fourth ECWHL team and the only other Lady Ice Lions opponent in the top 15. PSU beat the Catamounts 3-0 and 5-4 in overtime back on September 27th and 28th.

In addition to the averaged vote of all Division 1 coaches, the vote of the seven-member division ranking committee and a newly-introduced computer poll are each responsible for one third of the ranking. The latest iteration of the computer poll placed the Lady Ice Lions 13th.

Overall record, strength of schedule, record versus ranked teams, games against common opponents, record versus the division and head to head performance are the primary considerations when determining how squads are slotted in the human elements. The computer looks at average goal differential as well as strength of schedule.

The next ranking carries a cutoff date of January 18th and will be released the following week, with the final version ending on February 22nd. The top eight teams in the February 22nd ranking will qualify for the ACHA National Tournament, held March 4th through 8th in York, PA.

Following a week off, Penn State returns to action with the aforementioned games at Liberty on December 5th and 6th. Puck drops from Lynchburg, VA are set for 6:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Here is the complete ranking (first-place votes in parentheses):

Miami (20)
Rhode Island
Penn State
Michigan State
Robert Morris
Grand Valley State
Colorado State
Others receiving votes: Northeastern, Ohio State, Colorado, Midland, Wisconsin

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