KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) moves into a tie for the most No. 1 positions since 2000 after the Blue Raiders earn the No. 1 ranking in the 2011 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Lindsey Wilson is tied with Rio Grande (Ohio) with 36 top billings, the most of any program in that time span. For the last five-straight weeks, the national champions have been ranked No. 1, which is the longest stretch for the Blue Raiders since the 2008 season.
Lindsey Wilson was the unanimous No. 1 pick with 19 first-place votes and 529 points. The Blue Raiders defeated No. 1-seed Hastings (Neb.), 3-2, in overtime in the National Championship final to claim their ninth title. With a 23-0-0 record, Lindsey Wilson also captured its first perfect season since 1998.
National runner-up Hastings finished with the No. 2 ranking with 512 total points. One year after winning the national championship, the Broncos came up one goal short in 2011. No. 3 Baker (Kan.) advanced to its first-ever Semifinal before bowing out to Lindsey Wilson. The Wildcats gained 492 total points.
Thanks to its National Championship finish, No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) equaled the biggest improvement with a 16-spot jump. The Crusaders made it to their second-ever Semifinal round and eliminated the fourth and fifth seeds of the tournament in the process. Rio Grande nailed down the fifth spot with 456 points. The RedStorm lost to William Carey in the Quarterfinals.
Two other teams, No. 8 Science & Arts (Okla.) and No. 14 Huston-Tillotson (Texas), made 10-spot-or-better jumps within the poll. The Drovers, who competed in the quarterfinals, improved 14 slots and Huston-Tillotson slid up from the 25th position.
No. 17 Great Falls (Mont.), No. 20 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 24 Oklahoma Wesleyan are newcomers in the postseason edition, but all were ranked at least once this year. No. 25 Mount Mercy (Iowa), a qualifier for the National Championship Opening Round, notches a spot in the Top 25, dating back to 2000.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: William Carey, No. 6 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 12 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 19 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.). Both the Heart of America Athletic Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference each land a triplet of ranked clubs.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups.
Notes: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) matches its highest ranking since Aug. 20, 2002… Top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) ties Rio Grande (Ohio) with the most No. 1 mentions of 36, followed by Bethel (Tenn.) (11), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (9), Hastings (Neb.) (8), Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (5) and Concordia (Calif.) (5)… There were 47 programs ranked in 13 polls this season and 14 of those have held a spot each week… Rio Grande has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 36-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season… Overall, there have been 16 different teams to claim the No. 1 spot… Lindsey Wilson holds the distinction of being consecutively ranked the longest among active schools – 57-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll… Rio Grande is next in line with 51, followed by Azusa Pacific with 44 and Hastings with 42… Since 2000, two teams have rattled through the entire season ranked No. 1 – Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande during the 2004 campaign.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (19)||23-0-0||529|
|4||20||William Carey (Miss.)||16-4-3||481|
|5||4||Rio Grande (Ohio)||19-3-0||456|
|6||6||Southern Poly (Ga.)||17-3-2||445|
|7||9||Grand View (Iowa)||18-2-2||423|
|8||22||Science & Arts (Okla.)||18-5-0||410|
|10||15||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||13-4-3||369|
|17||RV||Great Falls (Mont.)||16-5-0||245|
|19||12||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||12-5-4||219|
|20||RV||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||14-9-0||204|
|25||RV||Mount Mercy (Iowa)||12-6-3||106|
Others receiving votes: Menlo (Calif.) 88; Fresno Pacific (Calif.) 81; Ashford (Iowa) 65; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 58; Cal State San Marcos 45; Montreat (N.C.) 18; Texas at Brownsville 17; Robert Morris (Ill.) 8; Vanguard (Calif.) 8; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 4; Bryan (Tenn.) 3; Thomas (Ga.) 3; Friends (Kan.) 1; Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) 1.