By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the ninth-consecutive time, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) takes the top position in the third regular-season edition of the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Blue Raiders were the unanimous selection with 21 first-place votes and 591 total points. The rest of the top five remains where they were last week with No. 2 Rio Grande (Ohio), No. 3 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), fourth-ranked Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 5 Science & Arts (Okla.).
Lindsey Wilson moved into second place for the NAIA's longest winning streak with its 29th-straight victory on Sept. 11 against Campbellsville (Ky.). Prior to its match on Monday, the Blue Raiders stand with a 7-0-0 record. They rank first in the NAIA in both scoring and defensive shutouts with five.
No. 12 Robert Morris (Ill.) and No. 15 Kansas Wesleyan are the big surprises with an eight-spot improvement. The Eagles took down a Top-25 opponent last week, while Kansas Wesleyan went 1-0-1 against No. 13 Hastings (Neb.) and No. 9 Columbia (Mo.).
The bottom four teams in the Top 25 check in as the newcomers: No. 22 Oklahoma City, No. 23 Bryan (Tenn.), No. 24 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 25 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.). Benedictine was ranked two weeks ago, but the others have snapped a lengthy absence. Bryan is listed for the first time since Sept. 20, 2011 (No. 19) and one has to go back to Sept. 7, 2010 when Oklahoma City was last ranked (No. 24). Since poll records go back to 2000, the national mention for Embry-Riddle is the first during that span.
With the jump of those four teams, Texas at Brownsville (No. 15), Lee (Tenn.) (No. 18), Great Falls (Mont.) (No. 22) and Northwood (Fla.) (No. 25) all fell out.
The Southern States Athletic Conference again tops all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with four teams in the Top 25: Auburn Montgomery, Belhaven, No. 7 Southern Poly (Ga.) and No. 14 Mobile (Ala.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 8 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 13 Missouri Valley and Benedictine. Four other conferences landed a pair of teams in the Top 25.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups. The fourth regular-season poll will be announced on Sept. 25.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) The first official Modified Ratings Percentage Index (Modified RPI) of the season will be released on Sept. 26... Top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) has now been the unanimous choice in each of the last six polls dating back to last season... Lindsey Wilson increases the difference between second-place Rio Grande for the most all-time No. 1 rankings as the Blue Raiders stand with 40 - Rio Grande is at 35, and is followed by Bethel (Tenn.) (11), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (9) and Hastings (Neb.) (8)... Sixteen of 23 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented... Through four polls (including preseason), there have been 37 programs ranked... Rio Grande has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 40-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 - 61-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 54, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 27 and Mobile (Ala.) at 26... Since 2000, two teams have rattled through the entire season ranked No. 1 - Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande during the 2004 campaign.
2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 3
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (21)||7-0-0||591|
|2||2||Rio Grande (Ohio)||5-1-0||563|
|3||3||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||4-1-1||547|
|5||5||Science & Arts (Okla.)||4-0-2||514|
|7||8||Southern Poly (Ga.)||4-1-0||469|
|8||10||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||4-0-3||449|
|12||20||Robert Morris (Ill.)||5-0-1||349|
Others receiving votes: Huston-Tillotson (Texas) 93; Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) 92; Concordia (Ore.) 77; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 71; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 62; Jamestown (N.D.) 56; Northwood (Fla.) 24; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 19; Cumberlands (Ky.) 19; McPherson (Kan.) 18; Texas at Brownsville 12; Southwestern Christian (Okla.) 11; Aquinas (Mich.) 11; Vanguard (Calif.) 10; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 10; Grand View (Iowa) 9; Great Falls (Mont.) 8.