Bethel Men's Soccer Holds onto No. 1 Ranking

Sept. 8, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Despite a tie in its season opener, Bethel (Tenn.) University holds as the No. 1 team in the first regular season 2009 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the NAIA announced Tuesday. With a 2-0-1 overall record, Bethel totaled 19 out of the possible 22 first-place votes and 617 points. In the opener against Lee (Tenn.) on Aug. 25, the Wildcats and Flames played to a 0-0 tie after two overtimes. Since then, the Wildcats have swiped two wins by a combined score of 9-2. Bethel, the defending national champions, now holds a 17-match unbeaten streak dating back to Oct. 4, 2008.
With two first-place votes and 592 total points, No. 2 Concordia (Calif.) moved up three spots from the preseason poll (Aug. 18). The second spot is the highest for the Eagles since No. 2 on Aug. 19, 2008. Concordia took down then-No. 11 Hastings (Neb.), 2-0, at home on Sunday for one of its two early wins.
No. 3 Notre Dame (Ohio) has sprinted out to a 4-0 start to the year. The Falcons earned 581 points and jumped up four spots. Notre Dame has now been ranked in the top 10 in the last six polls. Through four matches, Notre Dame has out-scored its opponents by a 21-3 margin.
A team that is consistently among the top 5, No. 4 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), tallied 573 total points and the other first-place nod. Lindsey Wilson, who has been ranked in the top 5 in 12 of the last 13 polls, has yet to allow a goal during its 2-0 start.
Moving up five spots to No. 5 is Azusa Pacific (Calif.). The Cougars own a 4-0 record and were awarded 531 total points in the Top 25 poll. Azusa Pacific owns a 14-3 combined scoring advantage including an impressive 2-1 win over then-No. 15 Simon Fraser (B.C.) on Aug. 27.
St. Xavier (Ill.) reaches the Top 25 for the first time since the preseason poll back on Aug. 17, 2004, at No. 24 - the Cougars are No. 12 this week with a 3-1-0 mark. Bethel (Ind.) has also snapped a long drought with a No. 17 ranking this week. The Pilots last were ranked back on Nov. 1, 2006, in the No. 20 slot.
Two teams that made a big fall out of the Top 25 since the Preseason poll is Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) (No. 4) and Mobile (Ala.) (No. 7). Mount Vernon Nazarene is 3-2 on the year having lost its first two games. Mobile is 1-1 having lost to then-unranked Martin Methodist (Tenn.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The second regular season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 15.

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