Rio men still 3rd in soccer coaches’ poll

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blowout wins over rival Shawnee State and River States Conference rival Point Park University helped the University of Rio Grande maintain its hold on third place in the latest NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

The national office made the announcement Tuesday evening.

The RedStorm received 495 points in the balloting of a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, Association of Independent Institutions and Unaffiliated Groups.

Rio Grande (14-1-1) returns to action Thursday night, traveling to Cincinnati Christian University for a RSC contest.

Oklahoma Wesleyan stayed the top-ranked this week after receiving 18 of 19 first-place votes and 529 total points.

Hastings (Neb.) grabbed the other first-placed nod and remained in the No. 2 spot, while Davenport (Mich.) and the University of Northwestern Ohio each remained behind the RedStorm to round out the top five.

Two schools dropped out of the Top 25 this week – Menlo (Calif.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) – with No. 24 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 25 Madonna (Mich.) making their way onto the list.

No. 22 Tennessee Wesleyan showed the biggest improvement within the poll with a three-spot jump. The biggest drop in the poll went to John Brown (Ark.), which fell from No. 12 to No. 18.

Fifteen of the 19 conferences are represented this week. The Appalachian Athletic Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference each have three teams in the Top 25, the most of any conference.

Overall, seven leagues – including the River States Conference – send multiple teams into the Top 25.

WVU-Tech is the RSC’s other ranked team. The Golden Bears moved up one spot to No. 12 this week.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing