KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Spring Arbor (Mich.) ended the 2017 season atop the polls after the school’s second national championship. It begins the 2018 season in the same position in the 2018 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday.
Spring Arbor defeated Benedictine (Kan.) 2-0 in the 2017 NAIA National Championship, and starts the 2018 season looking to defend its national championship.
Top 25 Highlights (historical information dates back to 1999)
- National champion Spring Arbor (Mich.) collected all 15 first-place votes and 405 total points to earn the No. 1 preseason position.
- A year ago, Spring Arbor began the season at No. 2 in the preseason poll, behind University of Northwestern Ohio.
- Spring Arbor enters the 2018 season on an 18-match unbeaten streak, which includes a current eight-game winning streak. While Spring Arbor lost three former NAIA All-Americans following the 2017 season, the Cougars return 2-time NAIA National Player of the Year Bethany Balcer, who has 98 career goals.
- After advancing to the title match for the first time in program history, Benedictine (Kan.) begins the 2018 season at No. 2 in the preseason poll. Benedictine added depth with the addition of Megan Homoly and Olivia Berry, who were 1st Team All-State in Kansas and Missouri, respectively, as seniors.
- Spring Arbor continues to hold the longest active Top 25 Poll streak, moving to 85 consecutive appearances in the poll. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) holds the national record since 1999 with 203 consecutive appearances, which was stopped on Oct. 24, 2017. Keiser (Fla.) is right behind Spring Arbor; it checks in at No. 12 in the preseason poll, extending its streak to 83 weeks.
- Lindsey Wilson own the most No. 1 rankings since 1999 with 58, followed by former member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) with 32, Westmont (Calif.) and former member Concordia (Ore.) with 19, Martin Methodist at 17. Spring Arbor moves into a tie with former member Lee (Tenn.) with its 16th No. 1-ranking since 1999.
- The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.
- The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
- The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
- Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes
- For the complete ratings calendar, click here
2018 NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll – (Aug. 14)
|RANK||WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2017 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Spring Arbor (Mich.) (15)||24-1-1||405|
|3||3||University of Northwestern Ohio||20-3-1||379|
|4||4||William Carey (Miss.)||17-3-0||367|
|5||5||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||21-1-2||350|
|17||17||The Master's (Calif.)||15-6-1||185|
|18||18||Central Methodist (Mo.)||16-3-2||182|
|20||19||Science & Arts (Okla.)||17-4-1||151|
|22||23||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||11-6-3||144|
|24||24||John Brown (Ark.)||18-3-0||102|
Dropped out from Top 25: No. 25 Trinity Christian (Ill.)
Others receiving votes: Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 75, Concordia (Neb.) 52, Trinity Christian (Ill.) 44, Siena Heights (Mich.) 31, St. Thomas (Texas) 23, Midland (Neb.) 12, Bellevue (Neb.) 11, Bryan (Tenn.) 10, Indiana Wesleyan 8, Missouri Valley 6, St. Thomas (Fla.) 3, Jamestown (N.D.) 3