MSU soccer: both teams look good in regional rankings

MSU men's soccer sits atop the region, while the women sit in 2nd / Source: KAUZ
MSU men's soccer sits atop the region, while the women sit in 2nd / Source: KAUZ

Mustang men lead initial South Central poll

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State claimed the top spot in the first set of South Central Region rankings released by the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Committee Wednesday afternoon.

Midwestern State currently sports a 12-0-2 overall record and an 8-0-2 mark in the Heartland Conference with two weeks remaining in the regular season. The fourth-ranked Mustangs appeared in the regional rankings ahead of No. 16 St. Edward's (11-2-1), Colorado Mesa (11-2-1), Colorado School of Mines (11-3-0), Texas A&M International (6-4-2) and West Texas A&M (8-4-1).

The Mustangs and the 16th-ranked Hilltoppers meet Thursday at Stang Park for a first-place battle in the Heartland Conference. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The top four teams in the South Central Region will advance to the NCAA Tournament with the region earning a first round bye due to just four teams advancing to the postseason. Tournament play begins Nov. 11-12 with the top two seeds serving as hosts for second round matchups. The second round winners will face off at the highest remaining seed the following week for a chance to move on to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Following the second round, the highest remaining seed in the South Central Region will serve as host for the NCAA quarterfinal round as well as welcoming the West Region finalists for their regional final contest. The regional championships are slated for either Nov. 16 or 17 while the quarterfinals will take place on Nov. 18 or 19.

No. 5 California Baptist (10-0-2) ranked first in the initial West Region rankings Wednesday with the Lancers being followed by UC San Diego (7-1-4), Simon Fraser (B.C.) (9-1-2), California State Dominguez Hills (10-3-1), Cal Poly Pomona (12-3-0), California State Los Angeles (9-2-2), Chico State (Calif.) (8-3-1) and Notre Dame de Namur (Calif.) (10-1-2).

The NCAA Division II Final Four is scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

Mustang women 2nd in South Central region

Midwestern State came in second in the first set of South Central Region rankings released by the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Committee Wednesday afternoon.

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Midwestern State sports a 10-3-1 record and 5-2-1 mark in the Lone Star Conference to sit behind regional leader Angelo State in the conference race. The Rambelles (9-2-1) topped the regional rankings this week with MSU, Colorado School of Mines (10-2-1), St. Edward's (Texas) (7-3-4), Dallas Baptist (Texas) (9-3-2), Texas A&M-Commerce (8-3-3), Regis (Colo.) (10-1-2) and Rogers State (Okla.) (8-3-1) also appearing in the first set of rankings.

The top six teams in the South Central Region advance to the NCAA Tournament beginning Nov. 10 with first round matchups taking place at the site of the top two teams in the region. Following second round contests on Nov. 12, the highest remaining seed in the West Region will serve as hosts for the NCAA third round and quarterfinal rounds, Nov. 17-19.

The West Region rankings featured UC San Diego (12-2-0) atop the poll this week with the Tritons being followed by Sonoma State (Calif.) (9-2-0), Western Washington (12-0-0), Chico State (Calif.) (7-5-0), Cal Poly Pomona (9-5-1), California State Los Angeles (7-2-3), Stanislaus State (Calif.) (7-4-1) and Concordia (Ore.) (10-2-1).

The NCAA Division II Final Four is scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.

Cannistra claims LSC offensive honors

After leading No. 11 Midwestern State to a pair of wins last weekend with a team-high five points, freshman midfielder Kelly Cannistra was tabbed the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week by league officials Wednesday afternoon.
 
Cannistra put together a season-best four-point performance in rallying the Mustangs to a come-from-behind win Sunday over Texas Woman's. The Gilbert, Ariz., native played a part in all three scores for Midwestern State with a pair of assists before tallying the game winner in the 58th minute in the 3-2 victory.
 
She began the week by assisting on Raven Powell's game-winning goal against Texas A&M-Commerce in the 14th minute Friday in a 1-0 shutout of the Lions.
 
Cannistra's five-point outing doubled her season scoring total to 10 points, climbing to second on the MSU scoring list.
 
Behind the play of Cannistra, Midwestern State reached its second-highest national ranking in program history Tuesday with a jump of 13 spots to No. 11 in the United Soccer Coaches poll. The Mustangs take on their final road trip of the regular season this weekend, starting off with a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday against UT Permian Basin in Odessa.

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