NAIA Men?s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll ? No. 9
By Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rio Grande (Ohio) lands its fifth-consecutive No. 1 ranking in the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. With 19 first-place votes and 590 total points, the RedStorm earned the NAIA National Championship Opening Round automatic berth out of the Unaffiliated Group (KIAC/Gulf Coast).
The 31-team field for the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round, along with the final Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI), will be announced tonight at 7:30 p.m. CST. 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.
Since a 2-1 loss to No. 23 Point Park (Pa.) on Sept. 20, Rio Grande has won 10-straight matches. During that streak, the RedStorm own five shutouts. Rio Grande, with a 15-1-2 overall record, will advance to its 14th-straight National Championship Opening Round to be played out on Nov. 22.
The only undefeated team in the NAIA, Texas at Brownsville moved up to No. 2 with 571 total points and the remaining two first-place nods. The Ocelots, after winning the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday, now stand 20-0-0. Texas at Brownsville will appear in its first National Championship Opening Round since 2011.
No. 3 Lindsey Wilson slid up one position with 577 total points. The Blue Raiders earned an automatic berth to the championship with a 2-1 triumph over St. Catharine (Ky.) in the Mid-South Conference championship on Friday.
With 529 points, No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan improves one spot and boasts its highest ranking in program history. The Wildcats (18-1-0) own the NAIA’s second-longest active win streak at 17-straight matches – the last loss occurred on Aug. 29 against Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 2-1.
After a 3-3 tie in the semifinals of the Association of Independent Institutions tournament on Friday, Ashford (Iowa) falls down three spots to No. 5. The Saints, who have just one defeat on the year to then-No. 21 Davenport (Mich.) back on Sept. 5, posted 512 points.
No. 16 Lindenwood-Belleville pushed up five spots, which is a poll-best jump. Conversely, No. 24 Kansas Wesleyan suffered an eight-position fall, which is the most dramatic slide down.
Newcomers this week include No. 15 Bethel (Tenn.), No. 22 McPherson (Kan.) and No. 25 St. Andrews (N.C.).
Both McPherson and St. Andrews claim their first-ever national ranking in history, dating back to 1999. The Bulldogs, who are 10-0-2 in their last 12 matches, punched their ticket to the championship for the first time since 2008 after winning the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title on Saturday. In its third season of existence, St. Andrews is 16-1-1 on the year and won the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament Saturday with a 2-0 victory over then-No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.).
Bethel last held a Top 25 ranking in the 2014 Preseason Top 25 (Aug. 19).
Reinhardt, Great Falls (Mont.) (No. 24) and Cal State San Marcos (No. 25) all dropped out of the Top 25.
Sixteen of the 21 conferences, A.I.I. and unaffiliated groups were represented this week. The Southern States Athletic Conference leads all conferences with three representatives in the Top 25: No. 10 Mobile (Ala.), Bethel and No. 18 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.).
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. 2 Texas at Brownsville became 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… Currently, Texas at Brownsville is 20-0-0 entering the National Championship Opening Round… 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 43 different teams to be ranked at least once this year –thirteen teams have held a ranking in each of the 10 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 93-straight polls, dating back to the 2007 Preseason Top 25 Poll (Aug. 15, 2007)… Rio Grande is next in line with 86-consecutive rankings, followed by Missouri Valley at 52... Lindsey Wilson boasts the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 48, followed by Rio Grande with 46, 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. 9 (Nov. 16)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||2014 RECORD||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Rio Grande (Ohio) (19)||15-1-2||590|
|2||3||Texas at Brownsville (2)||20-0-0||571|
|3||4||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||14-2-2||544|
|6||7||Grand View (Iowa)||16-2-1||495|
|13||9||MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||12-3-2||347|
|17||14||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||11-3-4||285|
|18||13||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||13-5-1||245|
|21||23||Science & Arts (Okla.)||17-3-0||208|
|23||20||Point Park (Pa.)||15-3-0||183|
|25||RV||St. Andrews (N.C.)||16-1-1||133|
Others Receiving Votes: Great Falls (Mont.) 131; Marymount (Calif.) 111; Vanguard (Calif.) 94; Cal State San Marcos 56; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 34; Reinhardt (Ga.) 29; Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 19; Corban (Ore.) 16; St. Catharine (Ky.) 10; Baker (Kan.) 4; Jamestown (N.D.) 3; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 3.