By Scott Barker, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo.. – Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) will look to defend its national title as it opens the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the 2015 NAIA Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the National Office announced Tuesday. The Blue Raiders, looking for their fifth national championship, received 18 first-place votes and 498 points.
This is the fifth time in school history that Lindsey Wilson has earned the preseason top vote, dating back to 1999, with the most recent time coming in 2013. This also marks the fourth-straight year that Lindsey Wilson starts in the top five. The Blue Raiders are led by sophomore Amanda Kander, who tallied 17 goals and seven assists in 24 games last season, and Junior goalkeeper Johanna Henriksson, who posted 12 shutouts in 24 games. Lindsey Wilson still start their quest to repeat on August 22, as they play host to Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio).
2014 national runner-up Northwestern Ohio comes in at the No. 2 spot with 482 points. This marks the first time the Racers have been in the preseason top 25, as this is just their second season of competition. Northwestern Ohio has now been in the top 10 in the last nine polls. The Racers return their entire defensive back-four that recorded an NAIA-record 20 shutouts last year. Northwestern Ohio opens its season against Missouri Valley on August 21.
Keiser (Fla.) comes in at No. 3 with 466 points, while No. 4 Cumberland (Tenn.) (450 points) and No. 5 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (427 points) round out the top 5.
This year’s preseason top 25 poll features six new teams. Science & Arts (Okla.) comes in at No. 19, Concordia (Neb.), Biola (Calif.), Missouri Valley, Our Lady of the Lakes (Texas), and Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) are 21-25 respectively. All six teams were receiving votes from last year’s postseason poll.
This poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season poll will be announced Sept. 22.
For the complete women’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
Notes: (All Information dares back to 1999) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) owns the longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 160-consecutive mentions, including 131-straight in the Top 10 rankings…The No. 2 ranking marks the first time in the preseason poll for Northwestern Ohio…Lindsey Wilson has the most No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) with 33…Four different teams held the top spot in 2014: Concordia (Ore.) three weeks, Cumberland (Tenn.) four weeks, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) three weeks, and Lindsey Wilson one week…Lee’s (Tenn.) 2011 team is the last squad to be preseason ranked No. 1 and win the national title in the same year.
2015 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Preseason (Aug. 18)
|RANK||LAST ^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (18)||18-3-3||498|
|5||8||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||14-6-1||427|
|8||10||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||19-1-2||386|
|9||11||William Carey (Miss.)||18-3-1||375|
|11||13||The Master’s (Calif.)||13-6-1||339|
|14||17||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||16-4-1||292|
|17||23||Trinity International (Ill.)||14-4-2||235|
|18||22||Siena Heights (Mich.)||15-4-2||231|
|19||RV||Science & Arts (Okla.)||18-2-0||187|
|24||RV||Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||12-8-1||118|
|25||RV||Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio)||13-5-1||117|
Others Receiving Votes: Ottawa (Kan.) 90; Baker (Kan.) 78; Kansas Wesleyan 62; Georgia Gwinnett 35; Reinhardt (Ga.) 27; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 25; John Brown (Ark.) 24; Judson (Ill.) 10; Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 10; Ashford (Iowa) 9; Midland (Neb.) 7; Marymount (Calif.) 6; Viterbo (Wis.) 5; Oklahoma City 3.
^ 2015 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Preseason (Aug. 18.)