Kansas City, Mo. - After knocking off No. 2 ranked University of Rio Grande (Ohio), 1-0, and starting the season with a 3-1-0 record, the Saint Xavier University men's soccer team was rewarded with a No. 12 ranking in the latest NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll when the rankings were released by the national office late Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. The No. 12 ranking is the highest ever for the program, now in its 20th season, and ends a five-year absence from the national polls dating back to August 17, 2004, when the Cougars received the No. 24 ranking in the preseason poll. Prior to Tuesday's poll, the highest that the SXU men's soccer team had ever been ranked was No. 16 during the 1996 campaign.
"We had a big victory against Rio Grande and have played extremely well to start the season (only loss to No. 4 ranked Lindsey Wilson College), but even I was not expecting us to make such a huge jump in the rankings," said Saint Xavier University men's soccer coach Ed Vucinic. "The reality is that it is still very early in the season and we have to continue to play well if we hope to maintain a national ranking. Once you are ranked, victories get more difficult to come by because your opponents play you that much tougher. However, I believe our players will respond to the challenge."
Saint Xavier (3-1-0 overall) heads to Goshen, Ind., this evening to take on non-conference NAIA foe Goshen College (Ind.). The game is slated for a 7 p.m. (eastern) start.Click here to see the latest NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll