By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
NAIA Match of the Week
No. 10 Southern Poly (Ga.) (9-2-0) at No. 6 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (10-2-1)
Saturday, Oct. 13, Montgomery, Ala., 3:30 p.m. CDT, AUM Soccer Complex
• No. 10 Southern Poly and No. 6 Auburn Montgomery meet on Saturday in a battle of first-place teams in the Southern State Athletic Conference (SSAC). Both clubs are tied with Belhaven (Miss.) with a 5-1 league mark.
• Both teams have played against some of the best this year. Auburn Montgomery has dropped just two matches to No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Sept. 8 and No. 23 Mobile (Ala.) on Oct. 3. The Hornets fell to NCAA Division II Shorter (Ga.) on Sept. 5 and No. 4 Belhaven on Sept. 28.
• With two more weeks remaining in the regular season, AUM faces four teams with a combined record of 30-18-2 overall. Southern Poly takes on four clubs with a combined mark of 22-26-4.
• Southern Poly is 4-2 on the road this year, while AUM stands 5-0-1 at home. Spanning back to last year, the Warhawks are on a 10-match home unbeaten streak (7-0-3). Ironically, the last home loss was at the hands of Southern Poly on Oct. 4, 2011.
• In the last meeting on Nov. 12, 2011 in the SSAC Tournament Championship, Southern Poly advanced in penalty kicks, 5-3, after a 2-2 draw in double overtime. In the last five meetings, AUM and Southern Poly are deadlocked with two wins apiece and one tie.
• Southern Poly is led offensively by Emeka Maduka with 12 goals and 26 points. He is first in the NAIA in game-winning goals with six and 10th in goals per game (1.1). Dennis Kramer, this week's national NAIA Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, is 9-2-0 in goal with 17 saves and a 0.708 goals against average.
• Agust Arnarson (7 goals, 4 assists) and Elvar Sigurdsson (6 goals, 4 assists) are the offensive threats for Auburn Montgomery. Vignir Johannesson has started in 12 of 13 games in goal and has compiled 49 saves, a 0.970 goals against average and posted a 9-2-1 record.
• These teams pride themselves on defense. The Warhawks have shut out seven opponents and Southern Poly has recorded five blankings.
This Week Around the Top 25
• The week of Oct. 8 - 14 featured two Top 25 matchups, including:
o Friday - No. 5 Belhaven (Miss.) at No. 15 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)
o Saturday - No. 15 Bryan (Tenn.) at No. 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
o Saturday - No. 14 Benedictine (Kan.) at No. 12 Missouri Valley
• Through Thursday games, the Top 25 is 18-3-0 this week. Ten of those wins came via the shutout variety.
• Martin Methodist (Tenn.) took down No. 11 Bethel (Tenn.), 3-0, on Wednesday in one of the week's biggest upsets. The loss snapped Bethel's conference winning streak, which dated back to Sept. 24, 2008. Also, the match marked the first home conference loss for the Wildcats since the 2007 season.
• On Tuesday, Baker (Kan.) dealt No. 9 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) its first loss of the year after a 1-0 victory. The Pioneers were 8-0-5 on the year prior to the loss.
• In the third upset of the week, Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) secured first place in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 2-0 win over No. 24 Saint Xavier (Ill.).
• There are three programs in NAIA men's soccer still undefeated: Oklahoma Wesleyan (12-0-1), Columbia (Mo.) (11-0-3) and Science & Arts (Okla.) (10-0-2).
• No. 1 Rio Grande (Ohio) is the owner of the longest active win streak in men's soccer with 10-straight victories. The RedStorm hosts Pikeville (Ky.) on Saturday looking to extend that streak.
• Looking back at last week's Top 25 matchup results:
o Oct. 3 - No. 23 Mobile (Ala.) def. No. 3 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 6-2
o Oct. 3 - No. 9 Southern Poly (Ga.) def. No. 17 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.), 2-1
o Oct. 6 (Game of the Week) - No. 15 Benedictine (Kan.) def. (RV) Central Methodist (Mo.), 6-0
• The first official NAIA Men's Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) was released on Sept. 26, with Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) earning its first-ever No. 1 MRPI ranking. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) was second, followed by No. 3 Concordia (Calif.), No. 4 Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 5 Rio Grande (Ohio). The next MRPI will be released on Oct. 24.
• For the current, NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, click here.