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Spring Arbor (Mich.) junior midfielder Bethany Balcer

2018 Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll

August 14, 2018
By NAIA National Office

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.

Poll Methodology

  • 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
2 2 Benedictine (Kan.) 19-3-3 391
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
6 7 Southeastern (Fla.) 19-2-0 338
7 8 Vanguard (Calif.) 16-4-1 331
8 6 Westmont (Calif.) 16-4-2 310
9 9 Mobile (Ala.) 14-5-0 293
10 9 Columbia (Mo.) 21-0-2 285
11 11 Marian (Ind.) 16-3-4 273
12 14 Keiser (Fla.) 15-3-1 253
13 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan 20-2-1 251
14 15 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 18-4-0 233
15 11 Tennessee Wesleyan 15-5-2 227
16 16 Ottawa (Kan.) 17-4-1 213
17 17 The Master's (Calif.) 15-6-1 185
18 18 Central Methodist (Mo.) 16-3-2 182
19 21 Cumberland (Tenn.) 14-5-1 166
20 19 Georgia Gwinnett 13-3-1 151
20 19 Science & Arts (Okla.) 17-4-1 151
22 23 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 11-6-3 144
23 22 Hastings (Neb.) 15-3-4 133
24 24 John Brown (Ark.) 18-3-0 102
25 NR Eastern Oregon 13-4-2 78

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

Source: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Championship Information

NAIA Women's Soccer Championship
Sports Rules - Soccer (W)
Official Merchandise-Women's Soccer