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Women's Soccer - Tue, Oct. 1, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo – Defending Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion Vanguard (Calif.) claims the top spot in the fourth regular-season edition of the NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday. The Lions, who are making their first-ever appearance at No. 1, tallied 10 first-place votes and 575 points en route to the distinction.

Vanguard (7-0-0) enters the week as one of only three teams in the NAIA without a loss or tie this season. The Lions – now one of 12 teams to have held the No. 1 ranking since 1999 – have been dominant on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Vanguard has allowed only five goals this season and is currently riding a three-match shutout streak, while the offense has registered 40 goals. Senior forward Kayla Arenas paces the team with 10 goals, followed by seven from senior forward Jordan Davidson and junior midfielder Jennifer Martin. Vanguard faces arguably its toughest test of the season thus far when it plays No. 6 Westmont (Calif.) on Tuesday.

Embry-Riddle (Fla.) holds strong at No. 2 for the second-straight week with eight first-place votes and 571 points, respectively. The Eagles improved to 7-1-1 on the season as they opened The Sun Conference play last week with wins against Webber International (Fla.), 2-1, and Warner (Fla.), 5-0. Embry-Riddle faces a tough test on Friday when they travel to No. 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.).

Dropping two spots and losing the No. 1 ranking for the first time since the 2012 Postseason Poll is No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). The Blue Raiders, who registered the final three first-place votes and 568 points, were 1-1-0 last week with their loss coming against NCAA Division II Lee (Tenn.), 2-1, on Sept. 26. Lindsey Wilson hosts a pair of Mid-South Conference foes this week in St. Catharine (Ky.) and Cumberlands (Ky.).

Rounding out the top five for the third-straight week are No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 5 Northwood (Fla.) with 536 and 511 points, respectively. The Cavaliers, who were inactive last week, open Cascade Collegiate Conference action Thursday against Eastern Oregon before welcoming College of Idaho on Saturday. Northwood posted a pair of dominating victories last week with an 11-1 win at Southeastern (Fla.) and an 11-2 victory at Ave Maria (Fla.).

Within the poll, Judson (Ill.) made the largest jump, vaulting five places from No. 19 to No. 14. The Eagles enter the week with a 5-1-2 record, including a dominating 3-0 victory against then-No. 8 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on Sept. 28. Conversely, Olivet Nazarene suffered the largest drop-off, falling to No. 19.

No. 24 Oklahoma City is the lone newcomer this week. The Stars return to the Top 25 after a one-week hiatus.

Texas Wesleyan (No. 22) dropped from the poll.

Twelve conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by five programs from the GSAC – Vanguard, Westmont, No. 12 The Master's (Calif.), No. 18 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 22 Biola (Calif.). The Sun Conference is second with four schools.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independent/unaffiliated groups. For the complete women's soccer ratings calendar, click here.

Notes (All information dates back to 1999): Vanguard claims its first-ever No. 1 ranking … Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), who had held the top-spot in the five previous polls, leads all NAIA schools with 46 all-time No. 1 rankings … Former NAIA member Azusa Pacific (Calif.) boasts the second-most No. 1's with 32, followed by Westmont (Calif.) (19), Concordia (Ore.) (16) and former member Lee (Tenn.) (16) … Overall, 11 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll … Lindsey Wilson also owns the longest active streak of consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 154-consecutive mentions, including a string of 124-straight top 10 rankings … No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) owns the second longest active streak at 134-straight polls … Davenport's (Mich.) No. 7 ranking is the highest in program history … No. 24 Oklahoma City returns to the Top 25 after falling out last week … The Stars had previously appeared in 36-consecutive polls … For the fourth-straight week, the Golden State Athletic Conference boasts the most ranked programs with five … Twelve of the 21 conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the fourth regular-season Top 25 … Thirty-two teams have been ranked through four polls in 2013.

2013 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 1)

RANK

LAST TIME

SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

2013 RECORD

TOTAL POINTS

1

T2

Vanguard (Calif.) (10)

7-0-0

575

2

T2

Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (8)

7-1-1

571

3

1

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (3)

8-2-0

568

4

4

Concordia (Ore.)

6-1-1

536

5

5

Northwood (Fla.)

6-1-1

511

6

6

Westmont (Calif.)

6-0-1

494

7

7

Davenport (Mich.)

8-1-0

482

8

9

Spring Arbor (Mich.)

9-2-1

448

9

10

Martin Methodist (Tenn.)

7-1-0

441

10

12

William Carey (Miss.)

7-4-0

412

11

11

Graceland (Iowa)

9-1-1

395

12

13

The Master's (Calif.)

8-0-0

387

13

15

Cumberland (Tenn.)

7-1-0

346

14

19

Judson (Ill.)

5-1-2

341

15

14

Texas at Brownsville

6-2-0

335

16

17

St. Thomas (Fla.)

7-0-1

292

17

16

Ashford (Iowa)

6-2-0

284

18

18

Concordia (Calif.)

5-0-2

277

19

8

Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)

5-3-0

276

20

20

Brenau (Ga.)

6-3-1

216

21

21

Cal State San Marcos

6-3-1

193

22

24

Biola (Calif.)

6-2-0

181

23

23

SCAD Savannah (Ga.)

5-4-0

118

24

RV

Oklahoma City

4-3-0

114

25

25

Baker (Kan.)

5-3-3

102


Others Receiving Votes: Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 90; Grand View (Iowa) 68; Avila (Mo.) 64; Texas Wesleyan 58; Trinity International (Ill.) 43; Reinhardt (Ga.) 34; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 33; Grace (Ind.) 25; Mobile (Ala.) 25; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 10; Thomas (Ga.) 9; Kansas Wesleyan 9; Robert Morris (Ill.) 7; Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 7; Georgia Gwinnett 4; Hastings (Neb.) 3.

*Release courtesy of naia.org