By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the final regular season edition of the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) holds its mark for the third-straight week, the national office announced Sunday. Behind the strength of a Mid-South Conference tournament title by defeating second-ranked Rio Grande (Ohio), Lindsey Wilson earns an automatic spot in the 2012 NAIA National Championship. The Blue Raiders were the unanimous top pick this week and posted 498 points.
The official Men's Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) and 32 qualifiers for the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship will be announced at 6 p.m. CST on www.NAIA.org. The pairings for the championship will be announced on Monday at 1 p.m. CST.
Rio Grande held at No. 2 with 474 points. The RedStorm fell in overtime, 2-1, to Lindsey Wilson on Saturday. The loss snapped a 16-match unbeaten streak for Rio Grande. No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan ends the regular season as one of two undefeated teams in the NAIA. The Eagles, who won the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament crown on Friday, captured 460 points.
Despite not advancing out of the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, Science & Arts (Okla.) locks down the No. 4 (tied) position for the second-consecutive week. The Drovers were eliminated by Oklahoma City in penalty kicks on Nov. 3. Tied at No. 4 with Science & Arts, Concordia (Calif.) won the Golden State Athletic Conference championship on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over San Diego Christian. The Drovers and Eagles each captured 444 points in the poll.
No. 24 Jamestown (N.D.), who sprinted out to a school-record 10-0 start, boasts its first-ever ranking in school history. The Jimmies have earned a berth in the national championship after winning the Association of Independent Institutions tournament championship yesterday over Ashford (Iowa).
The other newcomer, No. 23 Tennessee Wesleyan, is ranked for the first time since Oct. 18, 2011 (No. 24)
Bryan (Tenn.) (No. 19) and Northwood (Fla.) (No. 25) were both pushed out of the Top 25.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 7 Mobile (Ala.), No. 11 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 14 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.), and No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.), No. 12 Missouri Valley and No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) With Jamestown (N.D.) and Tennessee Wesleyan as newcomers, they bring the season total to 46 different programs ranked this year... No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan both finish the regular with the most wins in the NAIA with 19... The duo of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Lindsey Wilson has been ranked in either the Nos. 1 or 2 positions for the last 10 polls... In nine of 12 polls this year, including this week, the No. 1 ranked team has been a unanimous selection... Rio Grande has now been ranked in the top 10 for the last 48-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season... There are two programs in NAIA men's soccer to end the regular season undefeated - No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan (19-0-1) and No. 4 Science & Arts (Okla.) (13-0-4)... 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 12, 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 44 - Rio Grande is next in line 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 in this week's Top 25... Through 12 polls (including preseason) this year, there have been 46 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 - 69-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 62, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 35 and Mobile (Ala.) at 34... 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 - FINAL
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD*||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (18)||19-1-0||498|
|2||2||Rio Grande (Ohio)||16-2-1||474|
|T4||4||Science & Arts (Okla.)||13-0-4||444|
|6||8||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||16-3-2||426|
|11||13||Southern Poly (Ga.)||13-5-1||343|
|14||11||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||14-3-1||288|
|15||14||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||12-1-7||280|
|19||18||St. Thomas (Fla.)||12-4-1||200|
|20||24||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||13-2-2||195|
|25||21||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||11-6-0||96|
Others receiving votes: Northwood (Fla.) 86; Bryan (Tenn.) 55; Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 52; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 39; Bethel (Tenn.) 37; Lyon (Ark.) 26; Baker (Kan.) 19; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 16; Aquinas (Mich.) 14; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 11; Thomas (Ga.) 7; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 7; Oklahoma Baptist 6; Grand View (Iowa) 3; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 3.