By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo – For the second-straight week a new team ranks No. 1, as Embry-Riddle (Fla.) claims the top spot in the fifth regular-season edition of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles earn the program’s first-ever No. 1 ranking with 17 first-place votes and 588 points.
Embry-Riddle (9-1-1) enters the week riding an eight-match winning streak that includes four victories against ranked teams. This past week, the Eagles picked up a pair of 1-0 road wins at then-No. 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and USC Beaufort (S.C.) in The Sun Conference (TSC) action. Embry-Riddle faces arguably its toughest test of its conference schedule Saturday when the Eagles host No. 5 Northwood (Fla.) at 6 p.m. EDT.
Moving up one-spot to No. 2 this week is Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) with one first-place vote and 598 points. The Blue Raiders, who spent the first four polls of the season ranked No. 1, outscored their opponents last week 27-1 to improve to 10-2-0. Lindsey Wilson returns to action Saturday in a non-conference match against No. 24 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.).
No. 3 Westmont (Calif.) – its first top three ranking since Sept. 13, 2006 – jumped three spots following a 3-0 win against then-top ranked Vanguard (Calif.) on Oct. 1. Three different Warriors scored in the contest, while senior goalkeeper Lindsey Smith notched six saves to record her third shutout of the year. Westmont improved to 8-0-1 on the season and 2-0-0 in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) a few days later with a 2-1 win against San Diego Christian (Calif.). The Warriors received the final three first-place votes and 588 points this week.
Rounding out the top five for the fourth-straight week are No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 5 Northwood (Fla.) with 576 and 542 points, respectively. The Cavaliers (8-1-1) cruised through their first week of Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) play, earning 3-0 and 5-1 wins against Eastern Oregon and College of Idaho. Similarly, Northwood (8-1-1) won both of its matches last week, including a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory against then-No. 16 St. Thomas (Fla.) in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week.
Within the poll, Westmont made the largest jump, moving up three spots, while former No. 1 Vanguard fell five spots, landing at No. 6.
There were two newcomers to the Top 25, both of which received votes last week – No. 24 Thomas (Ga.) and Auburn Montgomery. The ranking for Thomas snaps a streak of 96-straight polls without a mention, as the Night Hawks were last ranked on Nov. 2, 2004, while Auburn Montgomery was ranked multiple times in 2012.
Biola (No. 22) and SCAD Savannah (No. 23) dropped from the poll.
Twelve conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four programs from the GSAC, TSC and the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups. For the complete women’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes (All information dates back to 1999): Embry-Riddle (Fla.) claims its first-ever No. 1 ranking … Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Vanguard (Calif.) and Embry-Riddle have held the No. 1 ranking in 2013 … Lindsey Wilson leads all NAIA schools with 46 all-time No. 1 rankings … Former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) boasts the second-most No. 1’s with 32, followed by Westmont (Calif.) (19), Concordia (Ore.) (16) and former member Lee (Tenn.) (16) … Overall, 12 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll … Lindsey Wilson also owns the longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 155-consecutive mentions, including a string of 125-straight top 10 rankings … No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) owns the second longest active streak at 135-straight polls … Davenport’s (Mich.) No. 7 ranking is the highest in program history … Westmont’s No. 3 ranking is its first top three mention since Sept. 13, 2006 … No. 24 Thomas (Ga.) is making its first Top 25 appearance since Nov. 2, 2004 – a string of 96 polls … Twelve of the 21 conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the fourth regular-season Top 25 … Thirty-four teams have been ranked through four polls in 2013.2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (Oct. 8)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (17)||9-1-1||588|
|2||3||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (1)||10-2-0||564|
|3||6||Westmont (Calif.) (3)||8-0-1||553|
|8||8||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||11-2-1||448|
|9||9||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||9-1-0||441|
|10||10||William Carey (Miss.)||9-4-0||418|
|11||12||The Master’s (Calif.)||10-0-0||402|
|15||15||Texas at Brownsville||8-2-0||327|
|17||16||St. Thomas (Fla.)||8-1-1||296|
|19||19||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||7-3-0||253|
|21||21||Cal State San Marcos||6-3-1||200|
|T24||RV||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||7-4-0||102|
Others Receiving Votes: Biola (Calif.) 98; Avila (Mo.) 95; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 38; Grace (Ind.) 33; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 29; Robert Morris (Ill.) 27; Kansas Wesleyan 27; Mobile (Ala.) 19; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 18; Hastings (Neb.) 18; Georgia Gwinnett 10; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 10; Oklahoma Baptist 9; Reinhardt (Ga.) 8; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 7; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 6; Grand View (Iowa) 5.