KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the fourth-straight year, Lee (Tenn.) lands at No. 1 in the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lady Flames, who won their fourth-straight national championship last December, collected all 20 first-place votes and 560 points to earn top honors.
Lee returns 10-of-11 starters from a year ago, including Leah Fortune, who was named the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship Outstanding Offensive Player. Fortune ranked second nationally with 24 total assists a year ago. The Lady Flames open the 2012 campaign on Sept. 7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. against Northwood (Fla.).
Concordia (Ore.) - 2011 national runner-up - claims the No. 2 position with 542 total points, while the remainder of the top six are unchanged from the 2011 postseason edition: No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 5 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 6 Baker (Kan.).
Fifteen conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Hailing from the CCAC is No. 8 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), No. 14 Judson (Ill.), No. 16 Trinity Christian (Ill.) and No. 19 Robert Morris (Ill.). The Unaffiliated Group that includes the Frontier Conference and TranSouth Athletic Conference is second with three teams, while the Southern States Athletic Conference, The Sun Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference have two representatives each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independent/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season poll will be announced on Sept. 4. For a complete women's soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Lee (Tenn.) earns the No. 1 position in the Preseason Top 25 for the fourth-straight year (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009) ... Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) owns the longest current active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 137 ... Second-ranked Concordia (Ore.) is the only other program to occupy a spot in the poll 100-or-more consecutive weeks with 116 ... Lee is a distant third with 98-straight mentions ... Lindsey Wilson owns the most No. 1 rankings all-time with 41, followed by former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (33), Westmont (Calif.) (19), Concordia (10) and Martin Methodist (10) ... The Blue Raiders also lead the way with consecutive weeks at No. 1 with 13, spanning the 2004 - 05 seasons ... The 2011 Lee squad is the first team to start and end the season at No. 1.
2012 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll - (Aug. 14)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2011 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lee (Tenn.) (20)||23-2-0||560|
|3||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||19-1-2||524|
|7||NR||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||14-2-2||429|
|8||7||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||17-3-2||425|
|10||8||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||19-3-1||409|
|13||11||Cal State San Marcos||15-4-1||342|
|T16||15||Trinity Christian (Ill.)||16-4-2||277|
|19||17||Robert Morris (Ill.)||14-5-2||232|
|21||19||Texas at Brownsville||17-3-1||187|
|24||21||Science & Arts (Okla.)||15-6-0||126|
Others receiving votes: Siena Heights (Mich.) 90; Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 85; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 78; William Carey (Miss.) 46; Southern Oregon 31; Ottawa (Kan.) 19; Grand View (Iowa) 15; Biola (Calif.) 11; Northwest (Wash.) 10; Reinhardt (Ga.) 9; Brenau (Ga.) 7; Ashford (Iowa) 7; Oklahoma Wesleyan 4; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) 3; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 3; St. Thomas (Fla.) 3; Aquinas (Mich.) 3.
^ 2011 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches Postseason Top 25 Poll