MSU men's soccer ranks 5th in final USC poll

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - After advancing to its seventh NCAA quarterfinal in program history, Midwestern State closed at No. 5 in the final 2017 United Soccer Coaches' Division II rankings Tuesday afternoon.

Midwestern State finished out the 2017 season at No. 5 after earning a No. 7 final ranking in 2015 and 2016. The Mustangs closed the season in the top 10 for the seventh time since 2006 after finishing the year as the nation's only unbeaten side at 20-0-3.

The South Central Region was also represented by Colorado School of Mines (No. 9), St. Edward's (No. 16) and Colorado Mesa (No. 19) in the national poll.

National champion Charleston (W. Va.) appeared at No. 1 after claiming the program's first national title with a 22-1-2 record. Runner-up Lynn (Fla.) followed at No. 2 while semifinalists Rockhurst (Mo.) and Cal Poly Pomona came in third and fourth in the national rankings, respectively. MSU, California Baptist, LIU Post (N.Y.), Ohio Valley, Colorado School of Mines and Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) rounded out the top 10.

Midwestern State was one of four teams out of the South Central Region to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, earning the top seed in the postseason. The Mustangs began their tournament run at home with wins over No. 19 Colorado Mesa (3-0) and No. 8 Colorado School of Mines (2-0). MSU's chance at a third NCAA Final Four fell short in its national quarterfinal matchup against Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. The teams played to a 2-2 draw before CPP advanced 6-5 in penalty kicks.

Midwestern State's 20 wins on the season tied for the third most in school history with the Mustangs claiming the Heartland Conference regular and postseason titles. The 20 victories were the most of the Doug Elder era and most since the 1991 squad claimed 21 wins.

At the conclusion of the season, Midwestern State racked up several regional and national honors. Senior midfielder Pierre Bocquet was named a United Soccer Coaches' First Team All-American, which senior forward Scott Doney was named to the second team. Bocquet was also tabbed a second-team Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) All-America and was joined by junior defender Patrick Fitzgerald. Doney earned third-team D2CCA All-America accolades.

In addition to their all-America selections, the Mustangs had four players earn all-region honors. Bocquet and Doney were both USC and D2CCA first team all-region honorees while Patrick Fitzgerald collected D2CCA All-South Central Region First Team honors. Freshman Carlos Flores rounded out MSU's accolades by earning a D2CCA second team nod.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ Sports/MSU Athletic Communications All Rights Reserved