WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. - Before Notre Dame took the field for its first soccer practice of the fall, expectations were high.
The preseason rankings seem to like the Irish. Top Drawyer Soccer.com has PND ranked 28th nationally.
"The preseason rankings don't mean anything right now," said senior midfielder Cullen Kuntzman. We've got to earn what they've given us. You can't just expect to get that ranking from the past."
The Irish, who were eliminated in the Class 2A super-sectionals last fall, have won four Illinois state championships.
"Of course, these rankings are based on prior history," said senior defender Nick Faletti. "And we'd love to not let down the people who've played before us. So we're hoping to continue that tradition."
Fall practice officially started Monday across the state.
"It's definintely great to get that recognition but I think a lot of that recognition is based on the tradition of the program," said PND head coach Mike Bare. "And the success we've had in the past. These guys have to go out an earn their ranking."