By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo – For the first time in school history, the Bulldogs of Cumberland (Tenn.) are the top-ranked club in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Cumberland (11-0-1) jumped up two positions from last week’s rankings, collecting 591 points and 20-of-21 first-place votes.
The Bulldogs only blemish on the season came on Sept. 5, when the team tied then-No. 9 William Carey (Miss.), 1-1. Cumberland has since won 10 matches in-a-row – including eight shutouts – and outscored its opponents 59-3 during that stretch.
In the last three matches, the Bulldogs have a scoring margin of 33-0 and have not surrender a score since Sept. 23 in a 2-1 overtime win over then ninth-ranked Martin Methodist (Tenn.).
Coming in at No. 2 is Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 557 points and one first-place vote. The Eagles (9-1-0) are riding a four-match winning streak after dropping a decision to William Carey, 2-1, on Sept. 12. Embry-Riddle leaped two spots in the polls, earning its highest ranking since being No. 1 on Oct. 8, 2013.
Next up for the Eagles is a home date with SCAD Savannah (Ga.) on Oct. 10.
Concordia (Ore.) (10-1-1; 556 points) fell to No. 3 after a 1-0 loss to the College of Idaho on Oct. 4. The drop in the rankings snapped the Cavaliers’ run of nine-consecutive No. 1s, dating back to Oct. 22 of last year. It was the first loss for Concordia since Sept. 15, 2013, when it fell to Embry-Riddle 2-1. The Cavaliers compiled a 28-0-1 record since their last defeat.
Concordia looks to bounce back against Oct. 11 against Warner Pacific (Ore.)
Rounding out the rest of the top five is No. 4 William Carey (9-1-1; 545 points) and No. 5 Concordia (Calif.) (8-2-1; 515 points).
There was a lot of movement within the poll this week, as only two schools – No. 5 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 6 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) found themselves in the same ranking as the Sept. 30 release. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) is the only newcomer in the poll.
This week’s biggest riser is Siena Heights (Mich.), who soared seven positions from No. 20 up to No. 13. On the other hand, Davenport (Mich.) fell seven spots from No. 7 to No. 14. Trinity International (Ill.) and Science & Arts (Okla.) both fell out of this week’s poll.
Twelve conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by five teams from the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Southern States Athletic Conference is second with four teams ranked in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The fourth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Oct. 14.
For the complete women’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) The No. 1 ranking for Cumberland (Tenn.) is the first in school history… Embry-Riddle (Fla.) leaped two spots in the polls, earning its highest ranking since being No. 1 on Oct. 8, 2013… Concordia’s (Ore.) streak of nine-straight overall No. 1 rankings came to an end this week as the Cavaliers fell to No. 3… Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) owns the longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 153 mentions, including a string of 123-straight top 10 rankings… Lindsey Wilson boasts the most top spot rankings at 47, followed by former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) with 33. … Concordia owns the second longest active streak at 146-straight polls … Cumberland joins Concordia as the only two teams to be No. 1 in 2014… Lee’s (Tenn.) 2011 squad is the last team to receive the No. 1 preseason ranking and win the national title in the same season.
2014 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Oct. 7)
|RANK||LAST ^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||3||Cumberland (Tenn.) (20)||11-0-1||591|
|2||4||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (1)||9-1-0||557|
|4||2||William Carey (Miss.)||9-1-1||545|
|6||6||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||7-2-2||495|
|7||9||The Master's (Calif.)||8-2-1||470|
|8||10||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||6-2-1||454|
|10||12||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||9-1-1||418|
|13||20||Siena Heights (Mich.)||11-1-0||326|
|16||15||Cal State San Marcos||7-2-1||303|
|21||18||Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio)||9-2-1||212|
|25||RV||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||5-3-1||138|
Others Receiving Votes: Grace (Ind.) 88; Bellevue (Neb.) 81; John Brown (Ark.) 80; Trinity International (Ill.) 52; Science & Arts (Okla.) 40; Texas at Brownsville 17; Carroll (Mont.) 9; Midland (Neb.) 8; Northwest (Wash.) 8; Georgia Gwinnett 8; Grand View (Iowa) 6; Baker (Kan.) 4; College of Idaho 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (Sept. 30)