NAIA Men?s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll ? No. 2
By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in school history, Thomas (Ga.) claims the No. 1 ranking in the second regular-season edition of the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. After climbing up to a No. 2 spot in the first installment of the Top 25, the Night Hawks now stand on top of the Coaches’ Poll courtesy of the NAIA’s longest unbeaten streak at 13 matches.
Thomas posted 15-of-21 first-place votes and 586 points to become the third different No. 1 team in as many polls this season. With a 7-0-2 overall record, the Night Hawks have not lost since Oct. 30, 2013 against SCAD Savannah (Ga.). The early-season schedule has seen Thomas defeat four Top 25 opponents, including then-No. 1 and defending national champion Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Sept. 12 in the NAIA Game of the Week. The Night Hawks go for their 14th-straight win or tie on Thursday against Webber International (Fla.).
Climbing up for the third-straight poll, No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) tallied 576 total points and five first-place nods. The Panthers holds an 8-1-0 mark and have won in convincing fashion in the last three matches holding a 21-4 scoring advantage.
No. 3 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) improved three positions with 539 total points. The Pioneers take a 7-1-1 mark into their contest Saturday at Central Methodist (Mo.).
No. 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) holds a top-five ranking for the fourth-straight week, this time finishing with 522 total points. No. 5 Rio Grande (Ohio) checks in with 498 total points. The RedStorm vaulted up six positions thanks to a 3-1 win over then-No. 1 ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Sept. 27 in the NAIA Game of the Week.
Rio Grande enjoyed the best improvement within the poll. Conversely, No. 9 Lindsey Wilson and No. 12 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) slid down eight positions for the largest fall.
No. 16 Union (Ky.), who is one of five undefeated teams in the NAIA, made the biggest splash this week. The newcomers out of the Appalachian Athletic Conference are in the Top 25 for the first time since Aug. 20, 2002 (No. 9). After two more games this week, the Bulldogs (9-0-0) are scheduled to face No. 24 Reinhardt (Ga.) Oct. 8.
The other newcomer this week, No. 25 Westmont (Calif.), claims its first ranked position since Nov. 16, 2008 (No. 24).
Concordia (Calif.) (No. 17) and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (No. 21) both dropped out this week.
Sixteen of the 21 conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups were represented this week. The Southern States Athletic Conference claims the most teams in the Top 25 among all conferences/independents/unaffiliated groupings with four: Auburn Montgomery, Martin Methodist, No. 20 William Carey (Miss.) and No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.). Six other conferences and the Unaffiliated Group (Gulf Coast / Kentucky Intercollegiate) all claim two ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The third regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Oct. 7. The first NAIA Men’s Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) will be announced Wednesday.
For the complete men’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 1 Thomas (Ga.) joins Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) as the top-ranked teams in each of the three polls in 2014… All 25 ranked teams shuffled positions from last week… No. 7 Grand View (Iowa) recorded the remaining first-place vote… The No. 9 ranking for Lindsey Wilson is the lowest for the program since a No. 10 position on Oct. 5, 2010… None of the teams in the Top 25 held their position from the Preseason poll… With the No. 1 ranking on Sept. 23, Lindsey Wilson has now held the top spot at least one time in each of the past seven seasons (since 2008)… Great Falls (Mont.) leads the NAIA with 11 victories… There have been 34 different teams ranked in at least one poll this season… Martin Methodist is trying to become the first program ranked No. 1 in the preseason to win the national title in the same season since Lindsey Wilson did so in 2001… Overall, the Southern States Athletic Conference has been the power conference recently in the NAIA with 49-straight polls in which the league has tied or placed the most teams in the Top 25 poll – the last time the conference did not tie or have the highest amount of schools was Sept. 28, 2010… There were an NAIA-record seven different schools to be ranked No. 1 during the 2013 season: Martin Methodist, Belhaven (Miss.), Mobile (Ala.), Hastings (Neb.), Lindsey Wilson, Rio Grande (Ohio) and Grand View (Iowa)… Lindsey Wilson is the longest consecutively-ranked active school at 86-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 15, 2007)… Rio Grande is next in line with 79-consecutive rankings, followed by Belhaven at 52 and Missouri Valley at 45... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by Rio Grande with 41, Bethel (Tenn.) with 11 and Hastings with 10... Overall, 21 different teams have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Since 2000, just two teams have spent the entire season ranked No. 1—Bethel in 2009 and Rio Grande in 2004.
2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 1 (Sept. 30)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Thomas (Ga.) (15)||7-0-2||586|
|2||3||Davenport (Mich.) (5)||8-1-0||576|
|3||6||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||7-1-1||539|
|4||5||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||7-2-0||522|
|5||11||Rio Grande (Ohio)||6-1-2||498|
|7||9||Grand View (Iowa) (1)||7-1-1||482|
|9||1||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||5-2-1||433|
|11||14||Texas at Brownsville||8-0-0||395|
|12||4||Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||3-2-1||366|
|17||19||Science & Arts (Okla.)||7-1-0||263|
|20||18||William Carey (Miss.)||5-3-0||217|
|23||22||Point Park (Pa.)||5-2-0||171|