By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After a four-week period, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is back in the No. 1 spot in the NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Combine a Blue Raiders victory over then-No. 20 Bethel (Tenn.) with a tie by Rio Grande (Ohio) last week and Lindsey Wilson moved up from its second-place position with 589 points. Lindsey Wilson earned 18-of-21 first-place votes.
Second-ranked Rio Grande fell from the top perch as it had its 13-match win streak snapped with a double overtime draw against Bryan (Tenn.) on Oct. 27. The RedStorm gathered 572 total points and the remaining three first-place votes. In the upcoming Mid-South Conference Tournament, Rio Grande holds the No. 1 seed, while the Blue Raiders are second. Both clubs could potentially clash in the tournament championship on Nov. 8.
No. 3 Science & Arts (Okla.) holds steady for the fourth-consecutive week. Moving up two positions, No. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan is in the top five for the first time this year. No. 5 Concordia (Calif.), who improves two spots, enjoys its ninth-straight week in the top 10.
One week after its first Top 25 ranking in 2012, No. 18 St. Thomas (Fla.) is the biggest improvement within the poll with a four-spot spike. The Bobcats are owners of 10 victories in their last 11 outings to improve to 10-3-1 on the year. Conversely, Southern Poly (Ga.) fell the hardest, down five spots to No. 17. In their last four contests, the Hornets are 1-2-1.
The newcomers this week are all familiar with the Top 25 this year as they were ranked at least on one previous occasion. No. 21 Bryan (Tenn.), No. 24 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 25 Hastings (Neb.) jump back in the poll.
Thomas (Ga.) (No. 21), Milligan (Tenn.) (No. 23) and Biola (Calif.) (No. 24) were the teams that dropped out of the Top 25 this week.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: No. 8 Mobile (Ala.), No. 9 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 11 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.), No. 15 Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 17 Southern Poly. The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 12 Missouri Valley and No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups. The 10th regular-season poll will be announced on Nov. 6. The 32 qualifiers for the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship will be announced on Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. CST and the pairings will be announced on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. CST.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) Only three programs held their ranking from the Oct. 23 poll... In eight of 10 polls this year, the No. 1 ranked team was a unanimous selection... No. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan finds itself in its highest ranking in school history... The duo of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) have been ranked in either the Nos. 1 or 2 positions for the last eight polls... Rio Grande has now been ranked in the top 10 for the last 46-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. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan and No. 6 Columbia (Mo.)... 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 10, which includes the Preseason Top 25... Lindsey Wilson leads in the category of the most all-time No. 1 rankings as the Blue Raiders stand with 42 - Rio Grande is at 39, and is followed by Bethel (Tenn.) (11), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (9) and Hastings (Neb.) (8)... Fourteen of 23 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented... Through 10 polls (including preseason) this year, there have been 43 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 - 67-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 60, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 33 and Mobile (Ala.) at 32... 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. 9
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (18)||15-1-0||589|
|2||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (3)||13-1-1||572|
|3||3||Science & Arts (Okla.)||13-0-3||549|
|8||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||13-3-2||452|
|9||8||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||11-1-6||447|
|11||13||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||13-2-1||392|
|17||12||Southern Poly (Ga.)||10-4-1||268|
|18||22||St. Thomas (Fla.)||10-3-1||256|
|20||19||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||11-4-0||215|
|24||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||9-5-1||108|
Others receiving votes: Thomas (Ga.) 88; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 61; Indiana Wesleyan 60; Lyon (Ark.) 57; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 52; Milligan (Tenn.) 45; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 33; Cornerstone (Mich.) 28; Biola (Calif.) 17; Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 15; Jamestown (N.D.) 14; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 5; William Carey (Miss.) 5; Northwood (Fla.) 3; Baker (Kan.) 3.