WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - An undefeated weekend vaulted Midwestern State to its second-highest national ranking in program history Tuesday afternoon with the Mustangs making the biggest move inside the United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll with a jump of 13 spots to No. 11.
Midwestern State posted wins over Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas Woman's at home last week, sweeping the Lions for the first time since the 2012 season with a 1-0 shutout Friday night. The Mustangs rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit Sunday with a pair of goals early in the second half to top Texas Woman's and earn a season sweep of the Pioneers.
The Mustangs climbed into the nation's top 15 for the fifth time in program history and the first since the 2009 campaign, achieving a program-best No. 10 ranking back-to-back weeks (Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2009) following an 8-0-2 start. During the 2009 season, Midwestern State also cracked the top 15 on Sept. 22 at No. 12 and on Sept. 14 with a No. 14 ranking.
The senior duo of Destinee Williamson and Courtney Burnette have paced the Mustangs this season with Williamson leading the squad with 18 points (5 goals, 8 assists) and ranking sixth nationally in assists. Burnette has tallied eight clean sheets on the year with an .854 save percentage to rank 36th in the country while carrying a goals against average of .976.
Central Missouri sat at No. 1 for the second consecutive week with a 14-0-0 record and was followed by Western Washington, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Kutztown (Pa.), Carson-Newman (Tenn.), Adelphi (N.Y.), Nova Southeastern (Fla.), UC San Diego, Flagler College (Fla.) and West Virginia Wesleyan in the top 10.
Midwestern State climbed to first in the South Central Region for the first time this season with Regis (Colo.) (16th) and Colorado School of Mines (18th) also appearing in the nation's top 25.
The Mustangs make their final road trip of the regular season beginning Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff against UT Permian Basin at the UTPB Turf Field in Odessa.
After back-to-back weeks at No. 3, Midwestern State slipped one spot to fourth in this week's United Soccer Coaches Men's Division II National Poll released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs posted a 1-0-1 record last week with a 1-1 draw on the road against Rogers State (Okla.) before returning to Stang Park to earn a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma Christian to move to 12-0-2 overall and 7-0-2 in Heartland Conference action.
MSU has sported one of the toughest defenses in the nation this season, ranking second in the country in save percentage (.902) and goals against average (.344) and sixth in shutout percentage (.643) with nine clean sheets on the year. Offensively, the Mustangs rank 25th nationally in total points (88) with 30 goals and 28 assists to appear 28th and 12th in the national statistical rankings, respectively.
Adelphi (N.Y.) joined Midwestern State in slipping from the top three in the national poll after the Panthers registered an 0-1-1 weekly record to fall from second to 14th in the rankings. For the seventh-straight week, Charleston (W. Va.) sat atop the national poll as the only Division II to sport a perfect record at 13-0-0. The Golden Eagles were followed in the top 10 by Rockhurst (Mo.), Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.), Midwestern State, California Baptist, LIU Post (N.Y.), Young Harris College (Ga.), Lynn (Fla.), Merrimack College (Mass.) and Limestone College (S.C.).
The Mustangs continued to lead the South Central Region with Colorado School of Mines (15th), St. Edward's (16th) and Colorado Mesa (21st) also appearing in this week's top 25.
Midwestern State squares off against the 16th-ranked Hilltoppers for Heartland Conference bragging rights Thursday in a battle for first place in the league. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Stang Park.