Following another undefeated week, the Midwestern State men's soccer team jumped up one spot to No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Top 25 Poll, the organization released Tuesday.
Midwestern State extended its unbeaten streak to 13 matches Monday with a 3-0 win over Rogers State at MSU Soccer Field to improve to 12-0-1 on the season. Monday's win over Rogers State will count towards next week's national rankings. Last week, the Mustangs earned a 4-1 road win against Texas A&M International as junior midfielder Flavio Guzman recorded a hat trick including the game winner to help the Mustangs break a 1-1 match in the second period.
Pfeiffer (N.C.) remained at No. 1 in the national poll for the third-straight week, sporting a perfect 15-0-0 record. Midwestern State moved up to No. 2 after Southern New Hampshire suffered its first defeat of the season in a 2-0 home loss to Merrimack (Mass.). Charleston (W. Va.), Southern New Hampshire, California State-Dominguez Hills, Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.), Rockhurst (Mo.), Colorado Mines, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) and LIU Post (N.Y.) round out the top 10 in the national rankings.
The South Central Region boasts four nationally-ranked teams in Midwestern State, No. 8 Colorado Mines, No. 14 St. Edward's (Texas) and No. 24 Fort Lewis (Colo.).
With one of the nation's top offenses, the Mustangs have dominated the opposition this season. Midwestern State is outscoring opponents 48-10 while carrying a 285-107 advantage in shots and 124-43 edge in shots on goal. The Mustangs currently rank first nationally with 3.31 assists per game and third with 3.69 goals and 10.69 points per game.
Senior forward Albert Rodriguez has been the top offensive producer for the Mustangs with a team-best 14 goals and 33 points. Rodriguez currently ranks in the top 15 nationally in seven offensive categories.
The Mustangs defense has also been strong this season, recording five shutouts and holding teams to a 0.75 goals against average for 15th in the country.
Midwestern State takes on its final road trip of the regular season Thursday at 7 p.m. when the Mustangs face rival West Texas A&M in the Highway 287 Challenge at The Pitch in Canyon.
NSCAA Division II Top 25
October 27, 2015
Sophomore Colton Dorion completed a strong tournament with consecutive rounds of par to lead Midwestern State to a third place showing in the final competition of the fall Tuesday afternoon at the Payne Stewart Invitational played at the Par-72, 7,364-yard Branson Hills Country Club.
"It was misting off and on all day and it was tough for the kids to keep a good grip and take consistent swings," MSU coach Jeff Ray said.
Dorion flashed nothing but consistency with a tournament-best 26 pars ranking amongst all competitors by firing 4-under on the Par-5s to finish tied for sixth place with a two-round total of 144 just four strokes off of the pace of Central Missouri's Teddy Jones, who fired a 67 and 73, as the individual medalist.
"Colton shot another great round," Ray said. "His ball striking in this tournament was very impressive. He hit a lot of 3-5 foot putts to keep his momentum."
Junior Thomas Smith also logged 26 pars in the 36-hole competition to finish tied for 14th with a two-round total 148 with a pair of 74s (+2).
Junior Jared Baker carded a second-round, 4-over 76 to give the Mustangs a solid third score Tuesday afternoon as the Holliday native finished tied for 45th with a total of 158 (+14).
"We had a hard time finding that fourth score this week," Ray said. "This is a good golf course and it was a good experience to play well in tough weather."
Sophomore Will Mullins followed an opening round 75 with an 80 to tie for 34th with a total of 155 (+11) while senior Colton Kowalick recorded an 80 and 82 to tie for 54th with a total of 162 (+18).
Central Missouri claimed the tournament championship with a 3-under total of 573.
"It was a good tournament. We finished the fall on a really good note so hopefully we can carry that momentum into the spring," Ray said.
Midwestern State next competes in the San Antonio Shootout on Feb. 15-16 at the TPC San Antonio-AT&T Canyons Course.