By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Behind the NAIA's longest active win streak, Rio Grande (Ohio) captures the No. 1 spot in the NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The RedStorm was the unanimous decision at No. 1 with 21 first-place votes and 591 total points. After a season-opening loss, Rio Grande has won its last 11 matches to stand 11-1-0.
For the third-straight week, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) held at the No. 2 position with 572 points. Undefeated at 11-0-2, No. 3 Science & Arts (Okla.) posted 549 points. No. 4 Concordia (Calif.) locked down from last week with 534 points. After a win in the NAIA Game of the Week on Oct. 13, No. 5 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) improved one spot and moved back into the top five.
No. 11 Benedictine (Kan.) made a modest jump but the most substantial this week. The Ravens are moved up three positions. Conversely, Bethel (Tenn.) tumbled 12 spots all the way down to No. 23 (tie).
With an 8-3-0 record, No. 20 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) is this week's newcomer. The RedHawks are ranked for the first time since Sept. 14, 2010 (No. 8). The key was a 3-0 shutout over then-No. 11 Bethel on Oct. 10.
Saint Xavier (Ill.) (No. 24) was bumped out with the addition of Martin Methodist.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: Auburn Montgomery, No. 6 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 10 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 14 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) and No. 18 Mobile (Ala.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Benedictine and No. 13 Missouri Valley.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups. The second NAIA Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) will be announced on Wednesday by 5 p.m. CST. The eighth regular-season poll will be announced on Oct. 23.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000 )In seven of eight polls this year, the No. 1 ranked team was a unanimous selection... The duo of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) have been ranked in either the Nos. 1 or 2 position for the last six polls... Rio Grande has now been ranked in the top 10 for the last 44-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season... There are three programs in NAIA men's soccer undefeated - No. 3 Science & Arts (Okla.), No. 7 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 8 Oklahoma Wesleyan... 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 eight, 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 38, 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 eight polls (including preseason) this year, there have been 41 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 - 65-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 58, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 31 and Mobile (Ala.) at 30... 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. 7
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (21)||11-1-0||591|
|2||2||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||13-1-0||572|
|3||3||Science & Arts (Okla.)||11-0-2||549|
|5||6||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||11-2-1||505|
|9||9||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||9-1-5||421|
|10||10||Southern Poly (Ga.)||9-3-0||415|
|14||15||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||10-2-1||331|
|20||NR||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||8-3-0||201|
|25||25||Robert Morris (Ill.)||10-2-1||142|
Others receiving votes: Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) 103; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 71; Biola (Calif.) 61; Indiana Wesleyan 41; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 24; Lyon (Ark.) 23; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 22; Aquinas (Mich.) 16; Jamestown (N.D.) 15; St. Thomas (Fla.) 11; Westminster (Utah) 9; Vanguard (Calif.) 6; Grand View (Iowa) 6; Baker (Kan.) 5; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 3; William Carey (Miss.) 3.