By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in school history, Davenport (Mich.) claims the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Panthers, who posted 20 first-place votes and 591 total points, hold an 11-1-0 overall record. The fourth different team this year to be No. 1, Davenport replaced previous No. 1 Thomas (Ga.) after the Night Hawks tripped up on Oct. 10.
The Panthers hold the No. 1 spot after starting with a 21st ranking in the Preseason Top 25. In all four regular-season installments, Davenport has notched at least five first-place nods. The Panthers schedule has been challenging as they have been on the winning end against three ranked teams, including then-No. 2 Auburn Montgomery on Sept. 1. Next up, Davenport takes a six-match win streak to a road tilt at Aquinas (Mich.) on Wednesday.
Moving up one spot each, No. 2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 3 Rio Grande (Ohio), claim 562 and 539 points, respectively. The Pioneers have either improved or held steady each week in the Top 25 as they have now been ranked in 30-straight polls. Rio Grande, who is in the top five for the fourth-consecutive week, will take on No. 20 Union (Ky.) on Wednesday.
No. 4 Thomas falls down from the top spot after suffering its first loss against Florida Memorial, 3-2. The Night Hawks tallied 522 total points.
Holding steady at No. 5, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) lands 518 points. The Warhawks tangle with No. 23 William Carey (Miss.) on Thursday.
Two ranked teams that faced off last week, No. 18 Reinhardt (Ga.) and No. 20 Union, both saw significant movement within the poll. Reinhardt claims the best improvement, up six spots, after the 4-2 win on Oct. 8. Conversely, Union slipped down six positions after falling for the first time on the year and snapping an 11-match win streak.
No. 25 Hope International (Calif.), is ranked for the first time with 132 points, since poll records date back to the 2000 season. After a loss to NCCAA member Bethesda (Calif.) on Sept. 9, the Royals have reeled off eight wins and a tie (8-0-1). They hold a 1.5-game lead in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) standings with a 10-2-1 overall record and 6-0-0 mark in the GSAC.
After its first ranking in over two years last week, Great Falls (Mont.) (No. 23) drops out. The Argos lost a 1-0 overtime decision to Jamestown (N.D.) in the NAIA Game of the Week last Saturday.
Seventeen of the 21 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups were represented this week. The Southern States Athletic Conference claims the most teams in the Top 25 among all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings with three: Auburn Montgomery, No. 15 Mobile (Ala.) and William Carey. Five other conferences and the Unaffiliated Group (Gulf Coast / Kentucky Intercollegiate) all claim two ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The fifth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Oct. 21. The second regular-season Modified RPI will be announced on Oct. 22.
For the complete men’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 10 Texas at Brownsville is the only remaining undefeated team in NAIA men’s soccer at 12-0-0; the Ocelots are scheduled to play six more regular-season matches all coming against unranked opponents… Fourteen teams have held a ranking in each of the five polls this year (which includes Preseason)… No. 1 Davenport (Mich.) joins Thomas (Ga.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) as the top-ranked teams this year… Defending national champion Martin Methodist dropped out of the Top 25 on Oct. 7 and becomes the first defending national champion to not be ranked the following season since former member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) fell out during the 2008 season … There have been 38 different teams ranked at least once this season (through five polls)… For the third-straight week, No. 6 Grand View (Iowa) recorded the remaining first-place vote… With the No. 1 ranking on Sept. 23, Lindsey Wilson has now held the top spot at least one time in each of the past seven seasons (since 2008)… Martin Methodist is trying to become the first program ranked No. 1 in the preseason to win the national title in the same season since Lindsey Wilson did so in 2001… Overall, the Southern States Athletic Conference has been the power conference recently in the NAIA with 51-straight polls in which the league has tied or placed the most teams in the Top 25 poll – the last time the conference did not tie or have the highest amount of schools was Sept. 28, 2010… Lindsey Wilson is the longest consecutively-ranked active school at 88-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 15, 2007)… Rio Grande is next in line with 81-consecutive rankings, followed by Missouri Valley at 47... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by Rio Grande with 41, Bethel (Tenn.) with 11 and Hastings with 10... Overall, 21 different teams have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Since 2000, just two teams have spent the entire season ranked No. 1—Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande in 2004.
2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 14)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Davenport (Mich.) (20)||11-1-0||591|
|2||3||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||9-1-1||564|
|3||4||Rio Grande (Ohio)||9-1-2||539|
|5||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||9-2-1||518|
|6||6||Grand View (Iowa) (1)||11-1-1||512|
|9||9||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-2-1||433|
|10||10||Texas at Brownsville||12-0-0||427|
|13||15||Science & Arts (Okla.)||10-1-0||330|
|22||21||Point Park (Pa.)||7-2-0||187|
|23||22||William Carey (Miss.)||7-4-0||180|
|25||RV||Hope International (Calif.)||10-2-1||132|