KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After winning its third all-time national championship, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) asserted itself at No. 1 in the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Blue Raiders, who own an NAIA-best 42 all-time No. 1 rankings since 2000, are receiving their first top billing since Nov. 13, 2011.
Lindsey Wilson was the unanimous No. 1 pick with 20 first-place votes and 560 points. The Blue Raiders finished the season with a 20-4-1 record after defeating 12th-seeded Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), 3-2, in the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship final. With the win, Lindsey Wilson became the sixth program in NAIA women's soccer history to capture three-or-more national titles.
Previous No. 1 Lee (Tenn.) fell one spot to No. 2 with 533 points. The Lady Flames, who had previously won four-straight national crowns (2008-11), tied eventual national runner-up Olivet Nazarene, 1-1, in the semifinals. The Tigers advanced to the title match on penalty kicks, 4-1.
Aided by a program-best national championship finish, No. 3 Olivet Nazarene earned the team's highest-ever national ranking, dating back to 2000, while also posting a poll-high eight-position jump. The Tigers, who had been ranked in the top 10 in 10 of the previous 12 polls this season, received 514 points.
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Spring Arbor (Mich.) and No. 5 Vanguard (Calif.) with 504 points and 492 points, respectively. The Cougars, who reached the semifinal round before falling to Lindsey Wilson, had previously never advanced past the second round in the national championship. Vanguard was eliminated on penalty kicks (4-3) by Spring Arbor in the quarterfinals after playing 110 minutes to a 0-0 draw.
Two other teams, No. 7 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 16 Robert Morris (Ill.), made a four-spot-or-better jump within the poll. The Eagles reached the national championship quarterfinals for the second-straight season, while Robert Morris reached the second round by posting a 4-0 victory over 10th-seeded Graceland (Iowa) in the opening round.
No. 9 Texas at Brownsville, No. 20 Ashford (Iowa) and No. 24 Baker (Kan.) are newcomers in the postseason edition, but were all ranked at least once this year.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with four programs in the Top 25: Lee, No. 8 Mobile (Ala.), No. 15 William Carey (Miss.) and No. 23 Brenau (Ga.). The Heart of America Athletic Conference is second with a trio of clubs, while six other conferences boast a pair of representatives.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independent/unaffiliated groups.
For a complete women's soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) After winning its third all-time national championship, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) claims the No. 1 ranking for the first time since Nov. 13, 2011 ... the Blue Raiders own the most No. 1 rankings all-time with 42, followed by former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (33), Westmont (Calif.) (19), Concordia (Ore.) (16), Lee (Tenn.) (14) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (10) ... Lindsey Wilson owns the longest current active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 149 ... Concordia (128) and Lee (110) are the only other programs to occupy a spot in the poll 100-or-more consecutive weeks ... The Blue Raiders also lead the way with consecutive weeks at No. 1 with 13, spanning the 2004 - 2005 seasons ... The 2011 Lee squad was the first team to start and end the season at No. 1 ... Lindsey Wilson, No. 2 Lee, No. 4 Spring Arbor (Mich.) and No. 6 Concordia have been ranked in the top-10 in every poll this season ... No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) earns its highest all-time ranking after finishing runner-up at the national championship.2012 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll (Dec. 5)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (20)||20-4-1||560|
|3||11||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||19-4-1||514|
|4||7||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||20-3-2||504|
|9||RV||Texas at Brownsville||16-4-1||394|
|13||8||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||15-4-0||340|
|15||9||William Carey (Miss.)||14-5-1||311|
|16||20||Robert Morris (Ill.)||16-6-0||278|
|17||15||Cal State San Marcos||11-6-3||271|
|25||23||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||14-2-2||109|
Others receiving votes: Judson (Ill.) 108; Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 92; Carroll (Mont.) 61; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 57; Viterbo (Wis.) 55; Bellevue (Neb.) 24; Biola (Calif.) 17; Northwest (Wash.) 14; Grace (Ind.) 9; Southern Oregon 6; Westminster (Utah) 3.