Crossroads League in the NAIA National Polls | October 23-29
KANSAS CITY – The NAIA released a new batch of Top-25 Polls this week for the sports of soccer, cross country and basketball. The Crossroads League placed 21 teams in those polls and currently boasts a total of 28 teams ranked or receiving votes.
WOMEN’S SOCCER (Next Poll on October 31)
No. 2 Spring Arbor (16-1, 8-0 CL) held in the second spot once again, slipping seven points to a new total of 475. SAU clinched its seventh-straight CL Championship and will close the regular season at No. 15 Marian on October 28.
No. 15 Marian (13-2-2, 6-0-2 CL) climbed 31 points to a new total of 280 but did not change position in the ratings. The Knights have secured second place in the upcoming CL Tournament and will test their unbeaten record against No. 2 SAU on October 28.
RV Indiana Wesleyan (11-2-3, 4-2-2 CL) inched closer to a Top-25 rating with a climb of 11 points to 61. IWU will look to clinch a home game in the CL Tournament when it hosts Saint Francis in the regular season finale.
RV Mount Vernon Nazarene (9-5-2, 3-3-2 CL) remained in the receiving votes portion of the rankings with 11 points. The Cougars will close their regular season at Bethel, needing a win to maintain hopes of hosting a first-round match in the CL Tournament.
RV Taylor (11-5-1, 4-3-1 CL) continued to garner attention by collecting four points. TU is currently tied for fourth in the league standings with Huntington and will host the Foresters in the regular season finale.
MEN’S SOCCER (Next Poll on October 31)
No. 21 Spring Arbor (14-3, 7-1 CL) inched back up one position and gained eight points to a total of 168. The Cougars wrapped up the first regular season CL Championship in program history and will begin defense of their tournament title on November 1.
RV Goshen (11-4-2, 4-2-2 CL) hauled in five points to jump into the national spotlight. The Maple Leafs currently sit in a tie for fourth in the league and will host Grace in the regular season finale.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY (Next Poll on November 5)
No. 3 Taylor jumped four spots to reach its highest ranking in program history with a new total of 507 points. TU won the Great Lakes Invite for its third first-place finish of the fall and has finished behind just two teams all season.
No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan also made a big move in the polls, climbing seven spots with a 94-point boost to 294. The Wildcats claimed fourth at the Great Lakes Invite, finishing ahead of two teams inside the top-20.
No. 23 Marian fell back three positions and lowered 81 points to 154, after taking sixth place at the Great Lakes Invite.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY (Next Poll on November 5)
No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan improved eight positions in the new poll, surpassing Taylor as the top-ranked team in the league with 381 points. IWU won the Great Lakes Invite with seven runners crossing in under 26:30 to beat a trio of top-15 programs.
No. 24 Taylor dropped nine positions and 190 points to a new total of 144. The Trojans took sixth-of-24 at the Great Lakes Invite for their only finish outside the top-five this fall.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (Next Poll on November 28)
No. 1 Marian will begin the 2017-2018 campaign in the same spot it closed the last two seasons, as the top-ranked team in the nation. The two-time defending NAIA Division II Champions gained all but one first-place vote in the poll for 312 points and will kick things off on October 31 at home against Pikeville.
No. 21 Saint Francis cracked the Top-25 with 110 points, after representing the Crossroads League in the NAIA Tournament last season. USF will begin play on October 28 and 29 in the Lawrence Tech Classic.
RV Taylor picked up 10 points and will open on October 28 at Northwestern Ohio, before hosting No. 14 Indiana Tech on November 1.
RV Indiana Wesleyan earned eight points and will begin its season on October 31 with a showing at Cornerstone.
MEN’S BASKETBALL (Next Poll on November 28)
No. 3 Saint Francis hauled in 284 points after advancing to the NAIA Tournament Sweet 16 one year ago. The Cougars will travel to Olivet Nazarene for their season-opener on October 27, before hosting No. 1 Cornerstone on November 3.
No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan was right behind USF in the poll, earning 262 points on the heels of a Final Four appearance last season. IWU will jump into action on October 27 against top-ranked Cornerstone.
No. 15 Taylor gained 168 points in the preseason ratings, after its showing in the Sweet 16 last year. TU will begin play on October 31, when it hosts Wright State-Lake.
No. 22 Bethel claimed 81 points to give the CL four teams inside the Top-25. The Pilots just missed a Final Four appearance one year ago and will open at Holy Cross on October 30.
RV Spring Arbor netted four points in the rankings. The Cougars opened their season with a 69-66 win over Grace Bible and will play in the CL/WHAC Challenge on October 27 and 28.
CROSSROADS LEAGUE IN ADDITIONAL TOP-25 POLLS
VOLLEYBALL (Announced on October 17 – Next Poll on October 31)
No. 25 Marian
RV Indiana Wesleyan
WOMEN’S GOLF (Announced on September 29 – Next Poll on November 3)
No. 17 Bethel
No. 22 Marian
No. 23 Taylor
MEN’S GOLF (Announced on September 29 – Next Poll on November 3)
No. 15 Taylor