By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight week the top five teams remain the same with Concordia (Ore.) holding down the No. 1 ranking in the ninth regular-season edition of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Cavaliers were the unanimous pick for the first time this season, garnering all 21 first-place votes and 591 points.
Concordia is the top seed in the upcoming Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Women’s Soccer Championship Presented by U.S. Bank after finishing the regular-season 15-1-1 and 9-0-0 in the league. The Cavaliers open conference tournament play on Saturday against the winner of fourth-seeded Southern Oregon and fifth seed Eastern Oregon.
No. 2 Northwood (Fla.) compiled 569 points this week. The Seahawks have been idle since knocking off The Sun Conference (TSC) rival Johnson & Wales (Fla.), 2-0, on Oct. 24. Northwood battles No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), who received 535 points in this week’s edition, for TSC’s regular-season crown on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST. The winner of this contest receives the first of the conference’s two automatic berths to the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.
Rounding out the top five are No. 3 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). Westmont, the No. 2 seed in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Tournament, received a bye into the semifinals after finishing conference play with an 8-0-2 record. The Warriors await the highest seeded winning team out of the GSAC Opening Round matches. Similarly, Lindsey Wilson ended the year second in the Mid-South Conference, trailing only No. 6 Cumberland (Tenn.). The Blue Raiders open conference tournament play Saturday against seventh-seeded Shawnee State (Ohio).
Making the biggest improvement within the Top 25 was Texas at Brownsville, who jumped three places from No. 24 to No. 21. The Ocelots won three-straight to close the regular season with an 11-3-1 record and 5-1-1 mark in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Texas at Brownsville plays Huston-Tillotson (Texas) in the semifinals of the RRAC Tournament Friday at 3 p.m. CST.
No. 22 Thomas (Ga.) and No. 25 Georgia Gwinnett are the newcomers this week. Thomas has alternated being ranked and receiving votes over the course of the last five weeks, while Georgia Gwinnett is making its first-ever appearance in the Coaches’ Top 25. As an athletic department, the Grizzlies’ women’s soccer team is only the second program to receive a Top 25 mention since becoming a full NAIA member in August of 2012. Georgia Gwinnett’s men’s soccer program, who ranked No. 24 on Sept. 17, was the first.
Judson (Ill.) (No. 21) and Cal State San Marcos (No. 22) dropped from the poll this week. For the Cougars, the fall snaps a streak of 47-straight Top 25 mentions dating back to Nov. 10, 2009.
Thirteen conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four programs from the GSAC – Westmont, No. 7 Concordia (Calif.), No. 11 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 15 The Master’s (Calif.) – and TSC – Northwood, Embry-Riddle, No. 12 St. Thomas (Fla.) and Thomas.
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.
For complete schedule and score information for various conference tournaments, click here.
Notes (All information dates back to 1999): Concordia (Ore.) receives its third-straight and 19th overall No. 1 ranking this week, which ties the Cavaliers for third with Westmont (Calif.) on the all-time list … Three other teams have held the No.1 ranking this season: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Vanguard (Calif.) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) …Lindsey Wilson leads all NAIA schools with 48 all-time No. 1 rankings, followed by former member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (32) … Overall, 13 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 159-consecutive mentions, including a string of 129-straight top 10 rankings … Concordia owns the second longest active streak at 139-straight polls … Davenport’s (Mich.) No. 7 ranking on Sept. 17 is the highest in program history … Northwood (Fla.) is spending its third-straight week at No. 2 – its highest mention dating back to 1999 … Westmont’s No. 3 ranking in the fifth regular-season edition was its first top three mention since Sept. 13, 2006 … Cal State San Marcos fell out of the Top 25 this week for the first time since Nov. 10, 2009 …Thirteen of the 21 conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the ninth regular-season Top 25 … Thirty-eight teams have been ranked through four polls in 2013.2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 9 (Nov. 5)
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2013 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Concordia (Ore.) (21)||15-1-1||591|
|5||5||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||15-3-0||516|
|8||7||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||17-2-1||465|
|9||9||William Carey (Miss.)||14-4-0||447|
|12||12||St. Thomas (Fla.)||13-1-1||387|
|14||14||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||13-3-1||348|
|15||15||The Master’s (Calif.)||14-4-0||309|
|17||16||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||13-4-1||296|
|19||19||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||14-2-1||240|
|20||18||Robert Morris (Ill.)||12-3-1||232|
|21||24||Texas at Brownsville||11-3-0||173|
|T23||23||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||12-4-1||140|
Others Receiving Votes: Trinity Christian (Ill.) 109; Kansas Wesleyan 102; Avila (Mo.) 62; Hastings (Neb.) 59; Cal State San Marcos 56; Judson (Ill.) 41; Oklahoma Wesleyan 11; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 10; Grace (Ind.) 8; Viterbo (Wis.) 6; Mobile (Ala.) 5; Columbia (Mo.) 5; Northwest (Wash.) 5; Reinhardt (Ga.) 5; Northwestern Ohio 4.