Despite a 7-0 rout of Dallas Baptist on Saturday, the Midwestern State men's soccer team dropped one spot to No. 3 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Top 25 Poll released Tuesday.
Midwestern State (10-0-1) reached 10 wins for the 17th-straight season Saturday as senior forward Albert Rodriguez recorded his first career hat trick and senior defender Ben Clarvis finished with a team-best three assists in the win over the Patriots at MSU Soccer Field.
Rodriguez's hat trick was the first for MSU since Thomas Parides recorded one against UT-Permian Basin on Oct. 2, 2014 in Odessa, and the first at MSU Soccer Field since Craig Sutherland and Bryan Sajjadi each tallied one against Missouri Southern on Oct. 31, 2008. Clarvis became the first Mustang to total three assists since Kyle Kmiec recorded three against St. Mary's on Oct. 21, 2007.
Pfeiffer (N.C.) remained at No. 1 in the national poll for the second-straight week, sporting a perfect 13-0-0 record. Southern New Hampshire, the only other team in the nation to also hold a perfect slate this season (12-0-0), moved up one spot to No. 2. Midwestern State is followed by Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.), Charleston (W. Va.), California State-Dominguez Hills, Colorado Mines, Northwood (Mich.), Seattle Pacific (Wash.) and LIU Post (N.Y.) to round out the top 10.
The South Central Region now boasts four nationally-ranked teams in Midwestern State, No. 7 Colorado Mines, No. 16 St. Edward's (Texas) and No. 25 Fort Lewis (Colo.).
With one of the nation's top offenses, the Mustangs have dominated the opposition this season. Midwestern State is outscoring opponents 41-9 while holding a 257-90 advantage in shots and 115-35 edge in shots on goal. The Mustangs currently rank third nationally with 3.73 goals, 3.36 assists and 10.82 points per game.
Rodriguez has been the top offensive producer for the Mustangs with a team-best 11 goals and five assists for 27 points. Rodriguez currently ranks in the top 20 nationally in seven offensive categories.
The Mustangs defense has also been strong in the opening weeks of the season with four shutouts while holding teams to a 0.80 goals against average for 20th in the country.
Midwestern State takes on Texas A&M International in a 7 p.m. match Thursday at Dustdevil Soccer Field in Laredo.
NSCAA Division II Top 25
October 20, 2015