By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Capturing 19 first-place votes, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) holds at No. 1 in the 10th edition of the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The top billing is the second-straight for the Blue Raiders as they head into a Mid-South Conference (MSC) Tournament semifinal match-up on Wednesday. Lindsey Wilson now increases its NAIA-leading amount of No. 1 rankings to 43 since the 2000 season.
The final regular-season poll will be announced on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST. The official Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) and 32 qualifiers for the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship will be announced on Sunday at 6 p.m. The pairings will be announced on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. CST.
Rio Grande (Ohio) collected two first-place votes and 573 total points to lock down the No. 2 ranking. The RedStorm could have a potential clash with Lindsey Wilson in the MSC title game if they get past Cumberlands (Ky.) on Wednesday.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, behind the strength of an NAIA-best 18 wins, improves one spot to No. 3. The Eagles hold their highest ranking in school history and will face Bellevue (Neb.) on Friday in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
No. 4 Science & Arts (Okla.) swaps with Oklahoma Wesleyan this week. The Drovers failed to advance out of the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament with a 1-1 tie against Oklahoma City on Nov. 3. The Stars kept their season alive by moving on in PKs, 5-4.
Holding steady in the fifth position is Concordia (Calif.). The top-seeded Eagles host San Diego Christian on Saturday in the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament championship.
No. 13 Southern Poly (Ga.) was the biggest upward mover in the Top 25 with a four-spot jump. Conversely, No. 14 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and No. 20 Belhaven (Miss.) suffered the biggest drops of five positions.
Rocky Mountain is this week's biggest surprise with a No. 24 ranking. The Battlin' Bears are in the poll for the first time since polls are archived to 2000. Standing with a 12-2-2 record, Rocky Mountain has won four of its last six contests, including wins over Jamestown (N.D.) and Great Falls (Mont.). Those two opponents have a combined 25 wins.
No. 25 Northwood (Fla.) hops in after a short absence of two weeks outside the Top 25.
Bethel (Tenn.) (No. 23) and SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (No. 24) fell out of the Top 25 this week.
The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with five teams in the Top 25: No. 6 Mobile (Ala.), No. 8 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 11 Southern Wesleyan (S.C.), No. 13 Southern Poly and No. 20 Belhaven. The Heart of America Athletic Conference placed three teams in the rankings: No. 10 Benedictine (Kan.), No. 12 Missouri Valley and No. 14 MidAmerica Nazarene.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference/independents/unaffiliated groups.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 6 Mobile (Ala.) enjoys its highest ranking this year and best since entering the top five on Nov. 8, 2011... The duo of Rio Grande (Ohio) and Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) has been ranked in either the Nos. 1 or 2 positions for the last nine polls... In eight of 11 polls this year, the No. 1 ranked team was a unanimous selection... Rio Grande has now been ranked in the top 10 for the last 47-straight polls, dating back to the start of the 2009 season... There are three programs in NAIA men's soccer undefeated - No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan (18-0-1), No. 4 Science & Arts (Okla.) (13-0-4) and No. 7 Columbia (Mo.) (13-0-5)... The Southern States Athletic Conference has topped all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups with the most representation in the Top 25 in each poll this year - a total of 11, which includes the Preseason Top 25... Lindsey Wilson leads in the category of the most all-time No. 1 rankings as the Blue Raiders stand with 43 - Rio Grande is next in line at 39, and is followed by Bethel (Tenn.) (11), Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (9) and Hastings (Neb.) (8)... Fourteen of 23 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in this week's Top 25... Through 11 polls (including preseason) this year, there have been 44 different programs ranked... Overall, there have been 16 different teams to claim the No. 1 spot... Lindsey Wilson holds the distinction of being consecutively ranked the longest among active schools - 68-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll... Rio Grande is next in line with 61, followed by Belhaven (Miss.) at 34 and Mobile (Ala.) at 33... Since 2000, two teams have rattled through the entire season ranked No. 1 - Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande during the 2004 campaign.
2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 10
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2012 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (19)||17-1-0||590|
|2||2||Rio Grande (Ohio) (2)||14-1-1||573|
|4||3||Science & Arts (Okla.)||13-0-4||529|
|8||8||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||14-3-2||462|
|11||11||Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||14-2-1||409|
|13||17||Southern Poly (Ga.)||12-4-1||350|
|14||9||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||12-1-6||339|
|17||18||St. Thomas (Fla.)||11-3-1||297|
|21||20||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||11-5-0||220|
|24||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||12-2-2||131|
Others receiving votes: Lyon (Ark.) 87; Bethel (Tenn.) 78; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 52; San Diego Christian (Calif.) 45; Indiana Wesleyan 39; Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 36; Baker (Kan.) 35; Milligan (Tenn.) 27; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 25; Cornerstone (Mich.) 15; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 8; Thomas (Ga.) 6; Jamestown (N.D.) 4; Tennessee Wesleyan 3.