By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Behind a 32-match winning streak, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) holds the No. 1 distinction for the 10th-straight NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Blue Raiders gathered 529 total points and all 19 first-place votes in the fourth regular-season edition.
Overall, 13 teams held their positions, including the top seven squads. Rio Grande (Ohio) was in the second position for the third-straight week. The RedStorm, who posted 505 points, have been in the top five for 30-straight polls dating back to the start of 2010. No. 3 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) follows with 487 points. Fellow Southern States Athletic Conference member Belhaven (Miss.) checks in at No. 4, while Science & Arts (Okla.) captured the fifth spot with 462 points.
With a 9-0-0 record, Lindsey Wilson ranks first in the NAIA in total goals scored (41) and shutouts (six). The Blue Raiders, who are tied with Rio Grande for the early lead in the Mid-South Conference standings, boast a +37-goal advantage. On Tuesday, Lindsey Wilson faces Cumberland (Tenn.) before traveling to No. 2 Rio Grande on Saturday. The NAIA's second-longest win streak will be on the line this week for the Blue Raiders.
No. 14 (tie) Thomas (Ga.) is the headliner within the poll jumping up five spots. With a 7-2-0 record, the Night Hawks are tied for the top spot in The Sun Conference race. Conversely, No. 23 Hastings (Neb.) went down seven positions for the biggest fall.
No. 24 Northwood (Fla.) and No. 25 Concordia (Ore.) are the newcomers this week. The Seahawks are back in behind the strength of four-straight wins. They were last ranked two weeks ago. Concordia, who was last ranked in the Preseason Top 25, holds a 12-2 scoring edge during a current four-win stretch.
One week after their first Top 25 spot after the year, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) (No. 25) and Oklahoma City (No. 22) drop out of the rankings.
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. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 13 Missouri Valley and No. 21 Benedictine (Kan.). 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 first NAIA Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) will be announced on Wednesday by 5 p.m. CST. The fifth regular-season poll will be announced on Oct. 2.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) Top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) has now been the unanimous choice in each of the last seven 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 41 - 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 five polls (including preseason), there have been 37 programs ranked... Rio Grande has been ranked in the top 10 for the last 41-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 - 62-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 55, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 28 and Mobile (Ala.) at 27... 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)||2012 RECORD*||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (19)||9-0-0||529|
|2||2||Rio Grande (Ohio)||7-1-0||505|
|3||3||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||6-1-1||487|
|5||5||Science & Arts (Okla.)||5-0-2||462|
|7||7||Southern Poly (Ga.)||6-1-0||423|
|9||8||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||6-0-4||397|
|12||12||Robert Morris (Ill.)||6-0-1||347|
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma City 71; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 66; Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) 64; Jamestown (N.D.) 57; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 51; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 32; Texas at Brownsville 27; Aquinas (Mich.) 14; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 8; Grand View (Iowa) 8; Vanguard (Calif.) 6; McPherson (Kan.) 6; Cumberlands (Ky.) 6; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 5; Lyon (Ark.) 5; Milligan (Tenn.) 4; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 4.