MSU Roundup: Men's Soccer Finishes #13 in Final Poll

MSU Sports
MSU Sports

Midwestern State ranked 13th in the Continental Tire/National Soccer Coaches' Association of America final postseason poll released Tuesday afternoon.

The rating marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons the Mustangs carried a ranking in the in the final poll. It's the highest ranking since MSU closed the 2010 season at No. 2.

Midwestern (12-4-2) used a 13-game unbeaten streak to claim its ninth NCAA Division II playoff appearance as the Mustangs eliminated Colorado Mines 1-0 in the third round before falling in the South Central Region Championship at Regis (Colo.).

The Mustangs are one of four teams from the South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 10 Regis while West Texas A&M and Colorado Mines received votes.

Southern New Hampshire claimed its second national championship and first since 1989 by taking a 2-1 win over previously unranked Carson-Newman (Tenn.) in last Saturday's finals at Evans, Ga.

C-N finished second followed by national semifinalists Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Rockhurst (Mo.) at Nos. 3 and 4 while Rollins (Fla.), Mercyhurst (Pa.), Lindenwood (Mo.), LIU-Post (N.Y.), UC-San Diego and Regis rounded out the Top 10.

The second 10 consisted of Young Harris (Ga.), Lander (S.C.), MSU, Cal State-Los Angeles, Lewis (Ill.), Notre Dame (Ohio), Saint Leo (Fla.), West Florida, Ohio Dominican and Millersville (Pa.).

Limestone (S.C.),Queens (N.C.), Fort Hays State (Kan.), Post (N.Y.) and Indianapolis (Ind.) rounded out the poll.

Midwestern State carried final rankings of No. 10 in 2006, No. 3 in 2007, No. 5 in 2008, No. 19 in 2009, No. 2 in 2010 and No. 16 in 2011. The Mustangs finished the 2012 campaign unranked before closing 13th this fall.

MSU has appeared in 81 national rankings since the start of the 2006 seasons including 47 of those weeks within the Top 10. The Mustangs spent three weeks at No. 1 during the 2008 campaign.

Smith Gains NSCAA All-South Central Region Honors

Midwestern State junior forward Len Smith gained second-team All-South Central Region honors for the second straight year Tuesday afternoon when the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America released annual awards.

The junior from Baton Rouge, La. paced the Mustangs to the NCAA Division II South Central Region finals leading the team with eight goals and two assists.

Smith tallied goals in four consecutive matches to ignite a 13-game unbeaten streak for MSU which included a two-goal against Rogers State (Okla.) on Sep. 22 while also netting goals against St. Edward's (Texas), Newman (Kan.) and Texas A&M International.

The athletic 6-2 forward also scored game winners against No. 5 Northeastern State on Oct. 11 and against No. 4 St. Edward's (Texas) on Oct. 19.

Smith also earned second-team accolades as a sophomore in 2012 with 10 goals and two assists.

He stands as MSU's lone representative on the team which includes seven first-team selections out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and three from the Heartland.

West Texas A&M junior midfielder Conrod Goulbourne is the lone independent member to earn first-team honors from the former Lone Star Conference.

Eastern New Mexico placed two on the second-team including senior defender Andy Wilkinson and senior midfielder Kal Hebert joining Smith and WT senior defender Chandler Elder.

MSU sophomore goalkeeper Nick Petolick, a second-team Daktronics All American this season after leading the nation in goals against average (0.36) and save percentage (.921) was left off of the squad in favor of St. Edward's senior John Kaschak (1.05 GAA, .754 save percentage) and Lubbock Christian senior Erik Mozzo (1.07 GAA, .804 save percentage).

MSU Volleyball Adds Frisco HS Standout

Midwestern State volleyball coach Venera Flores-Stafford announced the signing of Morgan Haire to a National Letter of Intent Tuesday afternoon.

The Frisco High standout will join the Mustangs this fall.

"Morgan's enthusiasm and love for the game is what I love about her," Flores-Stafford said. "You can tell that she loves to be on the court. She is relentless on defense and steady on serve receive. We are excited to add her to our defensive line-up."

The 5-4 libero helped the Raccoons to three consecutive playoff appearances including a Region II-4A finalist showing in 2012 then advanced to the regional quarterfinals last fall. Haire helped Frisco High to the bi-district round as a sophomore in 2011.

She garnered first-team All-District 9-4A honors following her senior campaign this fall as FHS' Defensive Player of the Year.

Haire was a second-team all-league performer as a junior in 2012 earning the program's Fighting Heart Award for coach Janie Litchford.

She competed on the club level for Excel 18, Club Legacy 18, Club Legacy 16, Skyline Molten Frisco 15 and SPV Frisco 14 for coaches Christy Williams, John-Michael Stiel, Jessica Camp and Jaime and Bryan Seigel.

Haire is two-time Academic All-District selection and a member of the National Honor Society.

She is also active in the community with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Younglife and serves as a volunteer for the First Baptist Church-Frisco for middle schoolers. Haire also serves as the student council at Frisco High.

The daughter of Randall Haire and MJ Spence, she plans to major in mass communications at Midwestern.