The UC Irvine men's soccer team is already making its way up the national rankings, improving eight spots to No. 12 in this week's College Soccer News poll.
That Anteaters take a 3-0 record into the San Diego State tournament that begins Friday and have outscored opponents, 6-0, thus far.
But the way Coach George Kuntz's squad has found success thus far is a bit unorthodox. Of its six goals, four have been scored by defenders, including a team-best two by senior Corey Attaway.
Junior Jimmy Turner and senior Joel Bagby have also tallied from the back line thus far, both managing their first career goals in a season-opening win over Gonzaga on Sept. 1.
Attaway was named MVP of the UCI College Classic, in which the 'Eaters earned a pair of 1-0 wins over Wisconsin and Loyola of Chicago.
The defense, anchored by junior goalkeeper Andrew Fontein, has obviously not forgotten its first priority.
UCI opponents have managed only two shots on goal this season and Fontein has recorded all three shutouts to give him 12 for his career.
Turner, sophomore defender Everett Pitts, Fontein and junior midfielder Miguel Ibarra (a team-best three assists) joined Attaway, the team captain, on the all-tournament team.
UCI faces Oakland of Michigan (1-1) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at San Diego State. It faces Air Force (1-1) Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
The Vanguard University men's and women's soccer teams are also off to a promising start.
The Lions' men are 2-0-1 and ranked No. 12 in this week's NAIA poll. They open Golden State Athletic Conference play Sept. 25 at home against Azusa Pacific.
The Lions' women are 2-1-1 and ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, heading into today's road clash with Concordia of Illinois. They open GSAC play at Azusa Pacific on Sept. 25.
The UCI women's soccer team is 3-1-1 heading into Friday's nonconference date at Pepperdine. Coach Scott Juniper's squad has seen nine players score goals to help the Anteaters outscore opponents, 14-8, this season.
Senior forward Tanya Taylor and junior forward Lexi Kopf lead the team with three goals and one assist apiece.
The UC Irvine student rooting section has come up with a new moniker for itself. The group formerly known as 'Eater Nation, as well as the CIA (Completely Insane Anteaters), will be know this year as Antourage.
While the Orange Coast College football team's offense sputtered in Saturday's 37-6 loss to visiting Saddleback, the defense produced one shining star.
Sophomore outside 'backer Corbin Davis was in on 13 tackles, including five unassisted stops.