Following a third-place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament a year ago, the Butler women's soccer team is ranked third in this year's preseason national poll.
Butler, which was 21-3-2 last year, is ranked only behind defending national champion Iowa Western and Navarro (TX). Those two teams faced each other in the national title game last year.
"We are delighted to be recognized by the NSCAA as one of the top community college soccer programs in the country," said Butler head coach Adam Hunter. "Being the No. 3 team coming out of the gates puts a little extra pressure on our players to uphold the successful tradition that has become synonymous with Butler Soccer."
Paradise Valley (AZ) is ranked fourth and Laramie (WY), which joined Iowa Western, Navarro and Butler in the final four last year, is ranked fifth. The only other Jayhawk Conference school in the rankings is Johnson County at No. 17. Butler defeated Johnson 4-0 in the Region VI championship game last year.
Butler has won 62 games in the past three years, which is the most of any team in NJCAA women's soccer in that span. The Grizzlies have also won three straight conference titles, two straight Region VI championships and have made three consecutive trips to the NJCAA Division I Nationals in Melbourne, Fla.
The Grizzlies open the 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 22, against top-ranked Iowa Western in Council Bluffs at 4 p.m.