By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
Photo courtesy of: Martin Methodist (Tenn.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Martin Methodist (Tenn.) sits atop the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. After winning their first National Championship in program history, the RedHawks accumulated all 19 first-place votes and 529 total points to earn their first-ever No. 1 ranking.
With the ranking, Martin Methodist becomes the seventh different team to have claimed the No. 1 position in 2013—an NAIA record. Belhaven (Miss.), Mobile (Ala.), Hastings (Neb.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Rio Grande (Ohio) and Grand View (Iowa) were also ranked No. 1 at some point during the 2013 season. The RedHawks had previously peaked at No. 13 this season and had never been ranked higher than sixth all-time, a position they held on Aug. 17, 2010 and Sept. 7, 2010.
Martin Methodist ends its season with an overall record of 18-3-2 and on a 13-match unbeaten streak, dating back to Oct. 19. During that stretch, the RedHawks captured the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament Championship—defeating Bethel (Tenn.), Southern Poly (Ga.) and 2012 national champion Belhaven (Miss.)—and the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship—defeating Bryan (Tenn.), top-seeded Grand View and No. 8 seed Belhaven; advancing on penalty kicks over No. 4-seeded Ashford (Iowa); and outlasting SSAC foe and No. 11 seed Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 2-1, in overtime.
National runner-up Auburn Montgomery compiled 512 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The runner-up finish is the fourth in program history for the Warhawks (2000, 2001, 2004, 2013), who required at least one overtime period in each of their five 2013 national championship matches. This is the second-straight season in which both of the National Championship finalists were double-digit seeds hailing from the SSAC. The Warhawks end their season 15-7-2 and lead all NAIA programs with four All-America selections—Taian Souza (First Team), Sebastian Wladyko (Second Team), Vignir Johannesson (Second Team) and Elvar Sigurdsson (Third Team).
Semifinalists Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Ashford (Iowa) accrued 487 and 486 points, respectively, to earn the No. 3 and No. 4 positions. The Blue Raiders end their season 17-4-2 after a 2-1 overtime loss to Auburn Montgomery in the national championship semifinals. After tying Martin Methodist, 1-1, through two overtime periods in the national championship semifinals, Ashford finishes 16-4-2. Martin Methodist advanced to the National Championship title game over Ashford on penalty kicks, 5-4.
No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan rounds out the top five with 457 points after falling, 3-2, in double overtime to Auburn Montgomery in the national championship quarterfinals.
Within the poll, Martin Methodist made the largest jump, moving up 14 spots, while former-No. 1 Grand View fell 12 positions, landing at No. 13. Semifinalist Ashford and quarterfinalist Belhaven each moved up 13 spots for the second-largest advancement.
Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) were the newcomers to the Postseason Top 25. The Battlin’ Bears return to the poll after winning the Association of Independent Institutions/Frontier Conference/North Star Athletic Conference Unaffiliated Grouping Tournament and losing, 3-2, in overtime to Hastings in the National Championship Opening Round. The Warriors return to the poll after losing, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the SSAC Tournament to Belhaven.
Biola (Calif.) and William Carey (Miss.), neither of which made the National Championship field, fell out of the poll.
The Southern States Athletic Conference shares the lead among all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings with four teams among the Top 25: Martin Methodist, Auburn Montgomery, No. 8 Belhaven and No. 25 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference also placed four teams among the Top 25: No. 9 Baker, No. 12 MidAmerica Nazarene, No. 14 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 16 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) Martin Methodist (Tenn.) earns its first-ever No. 1 ranking after winning its first Men’s Soccer National Championship… 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 seven different teams were ranked No. 1: Belhaven (Miss.), Mobile, Hastings (Neb.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Rio Grande (Ohio), Grand View (Iowa) and Martin Methodist… 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 83-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll… Rio Grande is next in line with 76-consecutive rankings, followed by Belhaven at 49 and Missouri Valley at 43... 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, 20 different teams have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Fifteen of the 21 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the Postseason 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’ Postseason Top 25 Poll (Dec. 11)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||15||Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (19)||18-3-2||529|
|2||7||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||15-7-2||512|
|3||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||17-4-2||487|
|7||2||Rio Grande (Ohio)||16-3-3||426|
|12||6||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||14-5-3||346|
|13||1||Grand View (Iowa)||19-3-0||338|
|17||11||Science & Arts (Okla.)||15-5-0||242|
|22||25||St. Thomas (Texas)||13-4-2||149|
|24||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||14-4-1||100|
|25||NR||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||16-6-2||91|
Others Receiving Votes: Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 78; Biola (Calif.) 67; Park (Mo.) 64; Kansas Wesleyan 62; Corban (Ore.) 54; William Carey (Miss.) 45; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 38; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 37; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 37; Texas at Brownsville 17; Campbellsville (Ky.) 7; St. Gregory’s (Okla.) 3; Northwestern Ohio 3.
^ 2013 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll (Nov. 17)