UCA gets early No. 17 ranking

The University of Central Arkansas football team is ranked 17th the FCS, according to an early preseason ranking by Athlon Sports.

The Bears are one of three Southland Conference teams in the top 25: Sam Houston State is fourth and McNeese State is 24th.

Five-time national champion North Dakota State is No. 1, followed by defending national champion James Madison. South Dakota State is No. 3.

Eastern Washington, which eliminated UCA last season in the second round of the playoffs, is No. 7.

UCA soccer player playing in Australia

Former UCA soccer player Allie Coleman is continuing her soccer career at the professional level, playing for Alamein FC in Australia’s Women’s National Premier League.

Coleman, who finished her UCA career with five goals and five assists, is tied for second in program history with 75 matches played and sits third with 5,383 minutes played. She earned All-Southland Conference Honorable Mention in 2015, and helped lead the Bears to a 10-0-1 record in Southland Conference play in 2016.

"Maddi Poteet was a senior when I was a freshman at UCA, and she spent some time in Australia after she graduated, so coach Derek (Nichols) mentioned that I could reach out to her to see if she had any contacts," said Coleman about how the opportunity to play for Alamein presented itself. "She helped me out tremendously by sending me a lot of coaches’ numbers, so I sent my highlight video thing with Alamein just fell into place."

Alamein FC, which is located in Victoria, Australia, is one of eight teams that play in the WNPL. AFC currently sits fourth in the league table with a record of 8-3-3 after 14 matches played.