NAIA Men?s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll ? No. 8
By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The top 10 teams all held their positions in the eighth regular-season edition of the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. Overall 17 programs did not move in the Top 25. For the fourth-straight time, Rio Grande (Ohio) is on top of that list as it earned 560 total points and 19 first-place votes.
The final regular-season Coaches’ Top 25 Poll will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m. CST. The final Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI), along with the 32-team field for the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round, will be announced Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The pairings for the National Championship Opening Round will be announced Monday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. via a broadcast event on NAIANetwork.com. The national championship host, Northwood (Fla.), earns the host berth to the national championship final site. For conference tournament results, click here.
The RedStorm ended the regular season with a 13-1-2 mark and an eight-match win streak. Rio Grande begins the Unaffiliated Group Tournament (Gulf Coast / Kentucky Intercollegiate) with a semifinal meeting against Talladega (Ala.) on Friday. The RedStorm are looking to extend a streak of 12-straight NAIA National Championship appearances – a championship in the Unaffiliated Group tournament would send them to that event. Rio Grande has allowed just one goal in the last six matches.
With 536 points, Ashford (Iowa) locks down the No. 2 spot. The Saints host the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) tournament on Friday and Saturday – Ashford faces Houston-Victoria (Texas) Friday at 4 p.m. CST. With a 10-1-5 overall record, the Saints have suffered just one defeat on the year to then-No. 21 Davenport (Mich.) back on Sept. 5.
No. 3 Texas at Brownsville finished with 528 points and the remaining first-place nod. The Ocelots are the only undefeated team remaining in NAIA Men’s or Women’s Soccer with a perfect 18-0-0 mark. They match up with Texas College on Friday in the semifinals of the Red River Athletic Conference tournament. A conference tournament championship would earn Texas at Brownsville its first national championship opening round berth since 2011.
Behind 503 total points, No. 4 Lindsey Wilson remains in the top-five for the fourth-consecutive week. The Blue Raiders next play Campbellsville (Ky.) in the Mid-South Conference semifinals on Thursday.
No. 5 Indiana Wesleyan gathered 486 total points and tie for its highest position in school history. The Wildcats own the NAIA’s second-longest active win streak at 16-straight matches – the last loss occurred on Aug. 29 against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 2-1. Indiana Wesleyan looks to make it two-consecutive appearances in the national championship opening round as the team takes on Goshen (Ind.) Saturday in the Crossroads League championship.
No. 23 Science & Arts (Okla.) owned the best positive spike with a two-spot jump. No. 24 Great Falls (Mont.) suffered the worst drop, down three positions.
No. 25 Cal State San Marcos, with 99 points, vaults in as the newcomer this week. The Cougars are nationally mentioned for the first time since Sept. 24, 2013, due in large part to a seven-match win streak. Concordia (Calif.) (No. 24) falls out of the Top 25.
Seventeen of the 21 conferences, A.I.I. and unaffiliated groups were represented this week. The A.I.I. leads all conferences with three representatives in the Top 25: Ashford, No. 12 Georgia Gwinnett and Cal State San Marcos.
With the A.I.I. having the most teams ranked out of any conference, that snaps a 54-week reign for the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) in which the SSAC has either tied or placed the most teams in the Top 25 poll – before today, the last time the conference did not tie or have the highest amount of schools was Sept. 28, 2010.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups.
For the complete men’s soccer ratings calendar, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 2000) No. 3 Texas at Brownsville becomes the first NAIA men’s soccer program to finish the regular-season without a loss (18-0-0) since Oklahoma Wesleyan (18-0-1) and Science & Arts (Okla.) (13-0-3) did so in the 2012 campaign… There are six programs in men’s soccer to have one loss-or-fewer… With the No. 1 mention on Oct. 21, Rio Grande (Ohio) has now garnered at least one top ranking in each of the past three seasons and four out of the last five overall… There have been 41 different teams to be ranked at least once this year –thirteen teams have held a ranking in each of the nine polls this year (which includes Preseason)… No. 1 Rio Grande joins Davenport (Mich.), Thomas (Ga.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Martin Methodist (Tenn.) as the top-ranked teams this year… Defending national champion Martin Methodist dropped out of the Top 25 on Oct. 7 and becomes the first defending national champion to not be ranked the following season since former member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) fell out during the 2008 season … 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)… 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… Lindsey Wilson is the longest consecutively-ranked active school at 92-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 15, 2007)… Rio Grande is next in line with 85-consecutive rankings, followed by Missouri Valley at 51... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by Rio Grande with 45, 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. 8 (Nov. 11)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (19)||13-1-2||560|
|3||3||Texas at Brownsville (1)||18-0-0||528|
|4||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||12-2-2||503|
|7||7||Grand View (Iowa)||15-2-1||449|
|9||9||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||12-2-2||397|
|13||14||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||13-4-1||337|
|14||13||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||10-2-4||329|
|20||20||Point Park (Pa.)||14-2-0||220|
|23||25||Science & Arts (Okla.)||15-3-0||114|
|24||21||Great Falls (Mont.)||17-3-0||112|
|25||RV||Cal State San Marcos||13-3-0||99|
Others Receiving Votes: Bethel (Tenn.) 97; Concordia (Ore.) 90; Marymount (Calif.) 76; McPherson (Kan.) 40; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 36; Vanguard (Calif.) 34; Jamestown (N.D.) 29; St. Andrews (N.C.) 16; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 14; St. Catharine (Ky.) 8; Oklahoma City 8; William Carey (Miss.) 8; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 7; Florida Memorial 4.