No. 20 Point Park holds spot in NAIA Top 25 Poll, Silva named KIAC POW
Nov. 5, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Lucas Silva has 24 goals and 54 points this season. Photo by Chris Squier.
PITSBURGH -- Two headlines coming out of Point Park University men's soccer this week are that the Pioneers (14-2, 4-0 KIAC) have maintained their spot in the NAIA Men's Soccer Top 25 Poll (Nov. 4) at No. 20 in the nation and that senior forward Lucas Silva was named the KIAC Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for Oct. 27-Nov. 1.
Point Park was 2-0 last week to hold steady at No. 20 in the national rankings, and it has won 10 games in a row and 14 of its last 15 games overall. The Pioneers have set a team record for wins in a season, and they are currently tied for seventh in the NAIA in winning percentage at 14-2 (.875).
KIAC opponent Rio Grande (13-1-2, 3-1 KIAC) remains at No. 1 in the NAIA Top 25 for the third week in a row, and Point Park is still the only team to beat the nearly consensus top team in the nation this year. Rio Grande got 19 of a possible 20 first-place votes in the poll this week and has eight wins in a row since Point Park dealt it a 2-1 loss Sept. 20, a game that Point Park led 2-0 until the 87th minute.
Point Park is ranked in the Top 25 for the seventh week in a row, and the No. 20 ranking matches last week as the highest-ever ranking for the program. The Pioneers completed a 4-0 KIAC record with Saturday's win at Asbury (Ky.) for their third straight KIAC Regular Season championship. Point Park is 15-0 (12-0 regular season) versus KIAC competition since joining the conference in 2012.
Point Park's offense ranks eighth in the country in goals per game at 3.31. Defensively, the Pioneers have given up just six goals in their current, 10-game win streak and have just 12 goals against in 16 games on the year.
Silva, a senior forward from Sao Paulo, Brazil, earned his third KIAC Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week award this year thanks to his three goals, one assist and seven points in two games last week. Silva scored both goals in a 2-1 win at Salem International Oct. 28, and he scored the first goal and also had an assist in a 3-0 win at Asbury Nov. 1 to give him the game-winning goals in both contests last week.
Silva is second in the country with 1.50 goals per game and seven game-winning goals. He is fourth in the NAIA with 24 goals, which has established a new, Point Park record for goals in a single season. He has 42 career goals and 105 career points, and is chasing the Point Park records of 50 goals and 111 points by Chris Heh (1996-98).
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KIAC/GCAC Unaffiliated Group Tournament Notes:
Point Park will be the No. 2 seed in the KIAC/GCAC Unaffiliated Group Tournament, which begins Nov. 8. The six-team, single-elimination tournament features five teams from the KIAC and Talladega (Ala.) College from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference, which is teaming with the KIAC to form the Unaffiliated Group with the required six teams needed to merit an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament for the tournament champion.
Seedings for the KIAC/GCAC Unaffiliated Group Tournament were determined using the NAIA Men's Soccer Modified RPI, a rating based on strength of schedule and results. Rio Grande is the No. 1 seed as the No. 1 overall team in the nation in MRPI. Point Park is the No. 2 seed followed by No. 3 Asbury, No. 4 Talladega, No. 5 Brescia and No. 6 Cincinnati Christian.
Point Park has a bye in the first round Nov. 8 and will next play in the KIAC/GCAC Unaffiliated Group Tournament semifinals on Nov. 14. The semifinals and finals will be held at pre-determined host site Asbury (Ky.) Univeristy Nov. 14-15. Point Park is slotted to play a semifinal game Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. versus the winner of No. 3 Asbury versus No. 6 Cincinnati Christian. The finals are Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.