By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo – The Eagles of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) have swooped into the top-spot of the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Eagles accrued 583 points and 12-of-21 first-place votes on their way to No. 1.
It’s the school’s first top billing since Oct. 8, 2013.
Embry-Riddle (15-1-0) has won 10-consecutive contests since losing 2-1 to then-No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) on Sept. 12. Strong defense since that defeat has helped propel Embry-Riddle to the top of the ratings. The Eagles surrendered only six goals since that mid-September letdown, outscoring their opponents by 38 goals.
Embry-Riddle finished 2014 with a perfect The Sun Conference (TSC) record (9-0-0) and had four shutouts in its last five matches – including three-straight to end the season.
The Eagles take on No. 14 Northwood (Fla.) on Wednesday in TSC regular season championship.
Up one spot to No. 2 is William Carey. The Crusaders (15-1-1) took home 580 points and the remaining nine first-place votes. William Carey is fresh off a 3-0 road win over Faulkner (Ala.) on Nov. 1. With the win, the team secured the No. 2 seed in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) tournament.
The Crusaders – the top-ranked school in the Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) – host Brenau (Ga.) in the SSAC tournament on Saturday.
The rest of the top five includes No. 3 Concordia (Ore.) (14-1-2) with 551 points, No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (9-3-3) 520 points and Westmont (Calif.) comes in at No. 5 with 508 points.
For the first time all season, every team in the top six is in a new position from the previous week. Last week’s No. 1 squad – Cumberland (Tenn.) – fell to No. 6 after dropping a 6-1 decision to Lindsey Wilson on Oct. 27.
Three teams – Lindsey Wilson, No. 17 Grace (Ind.) and No. 19 Bellevue (Neb.) – tied for the biggest riser within the poll this week. All three schools jumped up four spots from the Oct. 28 release. Grace’s top-20 ranking is the first in Lancers’ history.
No. 11 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) and No. 25 Davenport (Mich.) both fell six positions from last week, further than any other programs.
Science & Arts (Okla.) (17-1-0) is the only newcomer in the rankings, coming in at No. 23. It is the first time the Drovers have been in the Top 25 since Sept. 30, when the school also sat in the 23rd position.
Science & Arts holds the NAIA lead in victories as teams enter postseason play.
Fourteen conferences/association of independent institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four teams from the Golden State Athletic Conference. The SSAC and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference are tied with three teams ranked in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, association of independent institutions and unaffiliated groups. The eighth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Nov. 11.
The second MRPI was released on Oct. 22, with William Carey claiming the No. 1 position. The rest of the top five included No. 2 Embry-Riddle, No. 3 Cumberland – who held the top-spot in the first MRPI of 2014 – No. 4 Northwestern Ohio and No. 5 Concordia.
The final edition of the MRPI will be revealed on Nov. 16.For the complete women’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Embry-Riddle (Fla.) is the top team for the first time since being No. 1 on Oct. 8, 2013… Today marks the first time in 2014 the top school is a representative from The Sun Conference… Cumberland (Tenn.) slid to No. 6 after sitting atop the ratings four weeks in-a-row… No. 17 Grace (Ind.) holds the highest ranking in program history, its fourth national rating in school history… No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) owns the longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 157 mentions, including a string of 127-straight top 10 rankings… Lindsey Wilson boasts the most top spot rankings at 47, followed by former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) with 33… No. 3 Concordia (Ore.) owns the second longest active streak at 150-straight polls… Embry-Riddle, Cumberland and Concordia are the only three teams to be No. 1 in 2014.
2014 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7 (Nov. 4)
|RANK||LAST ^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||2||Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (12)||15-1-0||583|
|2||3||William Carey (Miss.) (9)||15-1-1||580|
|4||8||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||9-3-3||520|
|7||7||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||16-1-1||475|
|11||5||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||11-4-1||408|
|12||11||The Master's (Calif.)||12-4-1||372|
|15||18||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||13-3-1||315|
|16||17||Cal State San Marcos||9-2-2||315|
|18||21||Siena Heights (Mich.)||14-3-1||254|
|23||RV||Science & Arts (Okla.)||17-1-0||149|
Others Receiving Votes: Trinity International (Ill.), 127; Biola (Calif.), 110; Kansas Wesleyan, 51; Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), 31; Baker (Kan.), 30; Aquinas (Mich.), 28; Missouri Valley, 18; SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 16; Carroll (Mont.), 13; AIB (Iowa), 5; Georgia Gwinnett, 5; Concordia (Neb.), 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No.6 (Oct. 28)