By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the second-straight week, Rio Grande (Ohio) gathers the No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The RedStorm, with all 21 first-place votes and 591 total points, currently sit 12-1-2 overall on the season. Holding the top spot for the 43rd time in history, Rio Grande wraps up the regular season on Saturday at home against No. 21 Reinhardt (Ga.).
Ashford (Iowa) owns the No. 2 position with 548 total points. The Saints (10-1-4) improve four spots, courtesy of a nine-match unbeaten streak. The ranking is the highest in school history for Ashford.
No. 3 Thomas (Ga.) improved two spots with 542 total points. Undefeated Texas at Brownsville (16-0-0) locks down the No. 4 position with 541 points. The Ocelots are the only team in NAIA soccer – men’s or women’s – without a loss or tie on their resume.
No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) rounds out the top five with 502 points.
No. 8 Missouri Valley, thanks to a six-spot improvement, is the biggest mover within the poll. The Vikings took down then-No. 2 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 3-0, on Oct. 25 in the NAIA Match of the Week. That victory was their sixth-in-a-row and handed them first-place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings.
Conversely, No. 14 Davenport (Mich.), who was in the top five for five-consecutive weeks, tumbles down 10 spots from last time. The Panthers have gone 2-2 recently, including a 1-0 loss to unranked Madonna (Mich.) on Oct. 24.
For the first time this year, No. 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) earns its first ranking. The last Bees mention was a No. 24 position on Sept. 10, 2013. The other newcomer is No. 24 Great Falls (Mont.), who previously was in the Oct. 7th edition (No. 23).
Hope International (Calif.) (No. 22) and Jamestown (N.D.) (No. 24) both fall out of the Top 25.
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: No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 17 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 25 William Carey (Miss.). Seven 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 seventh regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Nov. 4. The third and final regular-season Modified RPI will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 16.
For the complete men’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 1 Rio Grande (Ohio) is the first unanimous selection amongst the voters this year… With the No. 1 mention on Oct. 21, Rio Grande has now garnered the top ranking in each of the past three seasons and four out of the last five overall… SCAD Savannah (Ga.) becomes the 40th different team to be ranked at least once this year – fourteen teams have held a ranking in each of the seven polls this year (which includes Preseason)… No. 4 Texas at Brownsville is the only remaining undefeated team in NAIA men’s soccer at 16-0-0; the Ocelots are scheduled to play two more regular-season matches all coming against unranked opponents… No. 1 Rio Grande (Ohio) joins Davenport (Mich.), 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 … 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 53-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 90-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 15, 2007)… Rio Grande is next in line with 83-consecutive rankings, followed by Missouri Valley at 49... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by Rio Grande with 43, 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. 6 (Oct. 28)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (21)||12-1-2||591|
|4||7||Texas at Brownsville||16-0-0||541|
|5||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||11-2-1||502|
|6||3||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||12-3-1||484|
|9||10||Grand View (Iowa)||13-2-1||443|
|10||2||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||10-2-2||400|
|19||19||Science & Arts (Okla.)||12-2-0||224|
|20||23||Point Park (Pa.)||12-2-0||213|
|23||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||9-2-3||133|
|24||RV||Great Falls (Mont.)||15-2-0||128|
|25||25||William Carey (Miss.)||9-5-0||124|