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SOUTHERN POLY JUMPS UP TO NO. 8 IN NAIA NATIONAL POLL

 

MARIETTA, Ga. – After making back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight of the NAIA National Championship, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s soccer team jumped three spots to eighth nationally, according to the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll that was released on Tuesday. It marks the second straight season and third time in the last four years that Southern Polytechnic has ended in the Top 10.

Southern Poly, which received 335 points in the final poll of 2012, began the year ranked No. 3 and then climbed up to second – its highest rating in the six-year history of the program. The Hornets were between No. 7 and No. 17 in the last 10 polls.

National champion Belhaven University, with a 19-4-1 overall record, is atop the poll after receiving 436 points and all 16 first-place votes. The Blazers are followed by national runner-up the University of Mobile (17-5-2 overall, 419 points), Lindsey Wilson College (22-2-0, 411), MidAmerica Nazarene University (13-2-9, 383), Auburn University at Montgomery (18-4-2, 375), Concordia University Irvine (19-3-1, 374) and Hannibal-LaGrange University (16-5-0, 342). Rounding out the Top 10 are the University of Rio Grande (16-3-1 overall, 324 points) and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (14-1-4, 320). SPSU, along with Belhaven, Mobile and Auburn Montgomery, are all members of the Southern States Athletic Conference. The entire poll can be viewed at naia.org.

Southern Poly finished 15-6-1 overall this past season after making its fourth consecutive appearance at the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. In each of those four years, the Hornets advanced to the Sweet 16. In 2012, SPSU recorded wins over SSAC foes Belhaven and Mobile, and four of its six losses came to teams ranked in the Top 5 of the postseason rating.

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