By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Rio Grande (Ohio) stays at No. 1 for the second-straight week in the NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. No. 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) holds its position from last week, but the Top 25 saw considerable movements after the Blue Raiders. Overall, 22 programs shifted rank from a week ago. No. 17 Thomas (Ga.) and No. 25 Robert Morris (Ill.) were the biggest movers.
Making the best improvement within the Top 25, Thomas jumped five spots this week. The NightHawks are 6-1-0 in their last seven matches to improve to 10-3-0 on the year. On the flip side, Robert Morris tumbled the farthest with a 10-spot drop. The Eagles have lost two of their last four games, including a 2-1 setback against Calumet (Ind.) on Oct. 6.
With 560 points, Rio Grande is this week's unanimous top pick among the voters. The RedStorm are 9-1-0 on the season and take on Shawnee State (Ohio) on Tuesday. They currently own the nation's longest active win streak at nine-straight matches.
Following Lindsey Wilson in the top five is No. 3 Science & Arts (Okla.). The Drovers match their highest ranking of the season. No. 4 Concordia (Calif.) jumps up two spots and enjoys its first top-five ranking since the 2009 season. Belhaven captures 478 points to take home the No. 5 position.
No. 22 Northwood (Fla.), No. 23 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) and No. 24 Saint Xavier (Ill.) are the newcomers. The trio was ranked at one point earlier this year.
Three clubs were replaced this week: Biola (Calif.) (No. 19), SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (No. 20) and Lyon (Ark.) (No. 25).
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: Belhaven, No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 10 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 15 (tie) Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) and No. 19 Mobile (Ala.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 12 Missouri Valley and No. 14 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 seventh regular-season poll will be announced on Oct. 16.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) Rio Grande has now been ranked in the top 10 for the last 43-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season... There are five programs in NAIA men's soccer still undefeated - Huston-Tillotson (Texas) (5-0-3) is the only team who is not ranked... The Southern States Athletic Conference has topped all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with the most representation in the Top 25 in each poll this year - a total of seven, which includes the Preseason Top 25... Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) still leads in the category of the most all-time No. 1 rankings as the Blue Raiders stand with 41 - Rio Grande is at 37, 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 seven polls (including preseason), there have been 40 different programs ranked... 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 - 64-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 57, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 30 and Mobile (Ala.) at 29... 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. 6
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (20)||9-1-0||560|
|2||2||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||11-1-0||542|
|3||5||Science & Arts (Okla.)||9-0-2||513|
|6||3||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||9-2-1||470|
|9||7||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||8-0-5||426|
|10||9||Southern Poly (Ga.)||8-2-0||410|
|T15||17||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||9-2-0||282|
|24||RV||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||9-3-0||138|
|25||T15||Robert Morris (Ill.)||8-2-1||109|