By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Grand View (Iowa) of the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) sits atop the final regular-season NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Sunday. The Vikings, who are 18-2-0 on the year, accumulated 18 first-place votes and 529 points to earn their third-straight No. 1 ranking.
The final Men’s Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) and the 32 national championship qualifiers will be announced at 7:30 p.m. CST on NAIA.org, while the Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round pairings and bracket will be unveiled via a live graphical show on Monday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. CST.
Grand View, which won the MCC regular-season and tournament titles, will be participating in its fourth-straight National Championship after earning the MCC automatic bid with a 3-2 win over St. Ambrose (Iowa) on Nov. 14 in the MCC Tournament championship.
Rio Grande (Ohio) compiled one first-place vote and 512 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The 15-2-2 Red Storm are one of two teams to have been ranked among the top 10 for the entirety of the 2013 season, along with Mid-South Conference (MSC) foe Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). Rio Grande punched its ticket to the National Championship Opening Round with a 3-1 victory over Cumberland (Tenn.) in the MSC Tournament finals on Nov. 15.
Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Tournament champion Baker (Kan.) accrued 482 points to earn the No. 3 position. The Wildcats, who are 14-5-2 on the season, will be making their sixth trip to the National Championship after besting MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 1-0, for the HAAC Tournament title.
No. 4 Lindsey Wilson and No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan round out the top five with 476 and 459 points, respectively. The Blue Raiders, who won the MSC regular-season title, dropped two places after losing 1-0 to unranked Cumberland (Tenn.) in the MSC Tournament semifinals. The Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) regular-season champion Eagles fell one spot after losing 1-0 to unranked Bellevue (Neb.) in the MCAC Tournament championship. Both teams will need an at-large berth to return to the National Championship Opening Round. It would be the 20th-straight National Championship appearance for Lindsey Wilson and the third-straight for Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Within the poll, No. 10 Midland (Neb.) made the largest jump, moving up 15 spots, while former No. 3 Ashford (Iowa) fell 14 positions, landing at No. 17. The shifts come after Midland upset then-No. 5 Hastings (Neb.) in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Tournament championship and Ashford lost to then-receiving votes Georgia Gwinnett in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Tournament finals.
No. 9 Georgia Gwinnett, which won the A.I.I. Tournament, was the lone newcomer to the Top 25. With their 3-0 victory over Ashford on Nov. 16, the Grizzlies clinched their first-ever National Championship berth—in any sport. It has been a historic year for Georgia Gwinnett, which earned its first-ever Top 25 ranking in Poll 2 of the 2013 regular-season.
Wayland Baptist (Texas) fell out of the Top 25 after losing to unranked St. Gregory’s (Okla.) in the quarterfinals of the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Tournament. The Pioneers had been ranked in eight-straight polls, dating back to Sept. 24.
The Southern States Athletic Conference shares the lead among all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings with four teams among the Top 25: No. 7 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 12 William Carey (Miss.), No. 15 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) and No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference also placed four teams among the Top 25: Baker, No. 6 MidAmerica Nazarene, No. 16 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 20 Missouri Valley.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) Grand View (Iowa) earns its program-best third-straight No. 1 ranking in today’s poll… This year, Mobile (Ala.) became the first former-No. 1 to fall out of the Top 25 in the same season since former-member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in 2008… This season, an NAIA-record six different teams have been ranked No. 1: Belhaven (Miss.), Mobile, Hastings (Neb.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Rio Grande (Ohio) and Grand View… In 2012, just three teams claimed the No. 1 ranking all season: Lindsey Wilson, Rio Grande and Belhaven… Cal State San Marcos, Campbellsville (Ky.), Corban (Ore.), Georgia Gwinnett, Marymount (Calif.), Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), San Diego Christian (Calif.), St. Thomas (Texas) and Wayland Baptist (Texas) earned their first Top 25 rankings this season… Lindsey Wilson is the longest consecutively ranked active school at 82-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll… Rio Grande is next in line with 75-consecutive rankings, followed by Belhaven at 48 and Missouri Valley at 42... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 47, followed by Rio Grande with 41, Bethel (Tenn.) with 11 and Hastings with 10... Overall, 19 different teams have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Fourteen of the 21 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the final regular-season Top 25 poll... Since 2000, just two teams have spent the entire season ranked No. 1—Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande in 2004.
2013 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Nov. 17)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Grand View (Iowa) (18)||18-2-0||529|
|2||6||Rio Grande (Ohio) (1)||15-2-2||512|
|4||2||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||14-3-2||476|
|6||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||14-4-2||417|
|7||11||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||13-6-0||403|
|11||17||Science & Arts (Okla.)||15-4-0||338|
|12||12||William Carey (Miss.)||12-5-1||333|
|15||14||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||14-3-1||301|
|25||24||St. Thomas (Texas)||13-3-2||127|
Others Receiving Votes: Wayland Baptist (Texas) 100; Corban (Ore.) 72; Park (Mo.) 44; Texas at Brownsville 42; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 36; Kansas Wesleyan 24; Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 16; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 15; Northwestern Ohio 12; Campbellsville (Ky.) 5.
^ 2013 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll (Nov. 12)