WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State moved inside the top 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II poll for the first time in eight weeks at No. 8 Tuesday afternoon after winning its 10th-straight game and claiming its first-ever Heartland Conference regular season title.
The No. 8 ranking is the second highest for the program this season and third appearance in the top 10 after coming in at No. 7 in the preseason poll before appearing ninth in the week one national poll.
The Mustangs concluded the regular season at 15-2-1 with a 13-1-0 conference record to win the league championship and earn the No. 1 seed in this weekend's Heartland Conference Tournament at MSU Soccer Field.
Midwestern State clinched an outright title Thursday, handing Newman (Kan.) a 4-0 defeat at MSU Soccer Field as the Maroon and Gold avenged a 1-0 loss to the Jets on Sept. 25 in Wichita, Kan. The Mustangs concluded its conference slate Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Oklahoma Christian on Senior Day.
The Mustangs led the South Central Region in the national poll, ahead of St. Edward's (No. 13), Colorado Mesa (No. 16) and Regis (Colo.) (No. 23).
Wingate remained atop the national rankings for the third-straight week with a perfect 14-0-0 mark. The Bulldogs were followed by LIU Post (N.Y.), Simon Fraser (B.C.), Charleston (W. Va.), Lynn (Fla.), Rockhurst (Mo.), Adelphi (N.Y.), Midwestern State, Pfeiffer (N.C.) and UC San Diego in the top 10.
The Mustangs await the winner between No. 4 seed Newman and No. 5 Rogers State (Okla.) for a Heartland Conference semifinal matchup Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at MSU Soccer Field. The Jets and Hillcats square off in the quarterfinals tonight at 7 p.m. at Wilkins Field in Wichita, Kan.
The conference championship match is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. at MSU Soccer Field.
Midwestern State opens the 2016-17 season ranked 20th in the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Division II Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs, who opened exhibition play with a 107-75 rout of Science & Arts (Okla.) Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum, closed the 2015-16 campaign ranked seventh in the poll before they were upset in the opening round of the South Central Regional.
Midwestern has received mention in the NABC preseason poll in each of the last five seasons and in six of the last eight. The Mustangs were ranked 20th coming off of their first Elite Eight appearance in 2010 then were ranked 22nd heading into the 2012-13 campaign.
MSU was 13th heading into the 2013-14 season, received votes in 2014-15 and were 22nd heading into last season.
Interestingly, the Mustangs were unranked heading into two of their three Elite Eight seasons (2009-10 and 2011-12).
Midwestern also head into the season as the preseason favorites to win a 10th Lone Star Conference championship despite having no returning starters. It's the first time since the league departed the division format following the 2010-11 season that MSU was picked No. 1.
The Mustangs have claimed at least a share of four of the five LSC championships since the start of non-divisional play heading into the 2011-12 season posting a combined record of 121-36 (.770) including a 61-17 run (.782) in conference play.
MSU closes the exhibition slate against Oklahoma City on Monday, Nov. 7 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.