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Top 25 Poll - Preseason

August 16, 2011
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hastings (Neb.) begins the season as the No.-1 ranked team in the 2011 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The top billing is a first for Hastings, dating back to the 2000 season. The Broncos notched 20 first-place votes and 591 total points. 

“Obviously, it’s a great recognition on what we achieved last season and just the things our players were able to do (last year) and winning the National Championship,” said Hastings head men’s soccer coach Chris Kranjc. “We are excited about that, but we are mature enough to understand that this is a preseason rating and we have not kicked the ball around yet. So, we have to prepare for what’s ahead of us and not focus on what is behind us. We have to open up [the year] against Bethel (Tenn.), which is a huge challenge.”

The Broncos welcome back nine returners from the national title team that went 25-0 last season. They ended the year with a No. 3 ranking. No. 2 Mobile (Ala.) follows in the poll with 560 total points. The Rams advanced to the 2010 semifinals and ended with a 17-4-2 record. Third-ranked Rio Grande (Ohio) captured 549 total points and the remaining first-place nod. No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) with 498 points and No. 5 Bethel with 487 points round out the top five.

There are four teams that make a splash and appear in the Top 25 after sitting out the last poll of the 2010 season. No. 15 Science & Arts (Okla.), No. 16 Holy Names (Calif.), No. 20 Great Falls (Mont.) and No. 22 William Carey (Miss.) all were receiving votes. Science & Arts and William Carey were ranked at some point in 2010. Holy Names is mentioned in the Top 25 for the first time since the 2005 season. As they enter their fifth year of existence as a program, the Argonauts are ranked nationally for the first time in school history.

The Southern States Athletic Conference takes home the most schools in the Top 25 with four: Mobile, No. 7 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.) and William Carey. The Mid-South Conference lands three ranked programs, while three other leagues place a pair in the national spotlight. Overall, 17 of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on Sept. 6.

Notes: Hastings (Neb.) becomes the fifth different team in as many years to hold the No. 1 preseason ranking… No. 3 Rio Grande (Ohio) has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 24-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season… Rio Grande holds the most No. 1 mentions since 2000 with 35… Overall, there have been 14 different teams to claim the No. 1 spot during that span: after Rio Grande, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is second (31) and is followed by Bethel (Tenn.) (11), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (9), Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (5) and Concordia (Calif.) (5)… Lindsey Wilson holds the distinction of being consecutively ranked the longest among active schools – 45-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 preseason Top 25 poll… Rio Grande is next in line with 39, followed by Azusa Pacific with 32… Since 2000, two teams have rattled through the entire season ranked No. 1 – Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande during the 2004 season.

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) 2010 RECORD* TOTAL POINTS
1 3 Hastings (Neb.) (20) 25-0 591
2 7 Mobile (Ala.) 17-4-2 560
3 1 Rio Grande (Ohio) (1) 22-1 549
4 11 Vanguard (Calif.) 11-7 498
5 6 Bethel (Tenn.) 14-6-1 487
6 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 15-4-1 475
7 22 Southern Poly (Ga.) 12-5-3 448
8 14 Oklahoma Baptist 17-4 429
9 10 Belhaven (Miss.) 16-2-3 405
10 8 Kansas Wesleyan 16-3 399
11 9 Bryan (Tenn.) 18-2-2 388
12 16 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 16-4-1 386
13 13 Grand View (Iowa) 21-1 381
14 15 Missouri Valley 14-5-2 370
15 RV Science & Arts 16-5 348
16 RV Holy Names (Calif.) 14-5-2 315
17 17 St. Thomas (Fla.) 11-5-2 279
18 18 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 14-4 219
19 21 Texas at Brownsville 15-4 213
20 RV Great Falls (Mont.) 16-4-1 190
21 25 Concordia (Ore.) 16-3-1 176
22 RV William Carey (Miss.) 9-5-3 169
23 23 Columbia (Mo.) 12-6-3 159
24 20 Cumberlands (Ky.) 14-3-3 151
25 24 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 15-6-1 132

Others receiving votes: Bethel (Ind.) 88; Houghton (N.Y.) 85; Biola (Calif.) 83; Park (Mo.) 83; Benedictine (Kan.) 80; Cal State San Marcos 70; Bellevue (Neb.) 36; Ashford (Iowa) 30; Union (Tenn.) 29; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 26; Davenport (Mich.) 23; Baker (Kan.) 15; Illinois Tech 12; Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 7; St. Thomas (Texas) 7; Thomas (Ga.) 5; Northwood (Fla.) 4; Oklahoma City 3; Concordia (Calif.) 1; Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 1; Campbellsville (Ky.) 1; Southwestern Christian (Okla.) 1; McPherson (Kan.) 1; Warner (Fla.) 1.

^ Ranking indicated in final 2010 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Nov. 14)
* Submitted by the raters and reflecting the final overall 2010 record