Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Three-time defending national champion Lee (Tenn.) landed at No. 1 in the 2011 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lady Flames will open the season with a No. 1-ranking for the third-consecutive season powered behind 17 first-place votes for 528 points.
"It's always great to start out with a No. 1-ranking after coming off of last year's success," Lee head women's soccer coach Matt Yelton said. "We realize and know that there are good teams across the country. Truthfully though, I am more concerned about where we will be ranked in December compared to where we are right now in the preseason. It is a great honor to be ranked No. 1, but it's a long season. There's a lot to happen and there will be a lot of good teams challenging for that No. 1-ranking."
Second-ranked Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and third-ranked Concordia (Ore.) picked up the final first-place votes, earning a nod each, for 498 and 481 points, respectively. A pair of remarkable runs through the 2010 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship earned both No. 4 Hastings (Neb.) and No. 5 Baker (Kan.) a spot among the top-five programs for the first time in program history, dating back to 2000. The Broncos were listed 24th in the final poll a year ago and played their way to a spot in the title game. The Wildcats, who were receiving votes in the final poll, qualified for their first-ever National Championship last year, falling to Hastings in the semifinals.
In addition to Baker, three teams that were receiving votes at the end of 2010 have garnered Top-25 recognition: No. 18 Houghton (N.Y.), No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan and No. 25 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.). Both Houghton and Auburn Montgomery appeared in at least one poll during the 2010 campaign, while it is the first national ranking for Kansas Wesleyan since being listed at No. 24 in the final poll of 2008.
Fifteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four squads from the Southern States Athletic Conference. Hailing from the SSAC are Lee, No. 11 William Carey (Miss.), No. 13 Mobile (Ala.) and Auburn Montgomery. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Heart of America Athletic Conference each have a trio of ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 6.
Notes: Sixth-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) owns the longest current active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 113 dating back to 2000 ... No. 3 Concordia (Ore.) is the only other program to occupy a spot in the poll 100-or more consecutive weeks with 103 ... Since 2000, five different teams have occupied the No. 1 preseason ranking, led by Westmont (Calif.) with four preseason top rankings (2000, 02, 03, 04) ... Lee (Tenn.) is the only other program to garner the No. 1 spot in back-to-back-to-back preseason polls ... No team that has started the season ranked No. 1 has been ranked in the top-spot in the final poll ... Since 2000, Lindsey Wilson leads the way with consecutive weeks at No. 1 with 13, spanning the 2004 - 05 seasons.
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2010 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Lee (Tenn.) (17)||22-2-1||528|
|2||3||Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (1)||19-2-1||498|
|3||1||Concordia (Ore.) (1)||19-1-2||481|
|6||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||16-7-0||430|
|7||9||Robert Morris (Ill.)||19-3-1||417|
|9||6||The Master's (Calif.)||17-3-2||402|
|10||4||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||13-4-3||390|
|11||13||William Carey (Miss.)||13-4-5||382|
|15||18||Cal State San Marcos||10-2-5||288|
|17||19||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||16-4-2||247|
|19||22||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||19-5-1||191|
|22||25||Trinity Christian (Ill.)||18-4-2||144|
|25||RV||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||12-6-1||111|
Others receiving votes: Bellevue (Neb.) 109; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 61; Park (Mo.) 50; Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) 49; Northwood (Fla.) 48; Corban (Ore.) 41; Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 27; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 24; Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 21; Ottawa (Kan.) 12; Cornerstone (Mich.) 11; Ashford (Iowa) 10; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 8; John Brown (Ark.) 7; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 6; Lyon (Ark.) 5; Southern Oregon 3; Holy Names (Calif.) 1; Faulkner (Ala.) 1; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 1; Oklahoma Baptist 1; Westminster (Utah) 1; Tennessee Wesleyan 1; Shorter (Ga.) 1; William Jessup (Calif.) 1.
^ 2010 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Final Poll