Point Park men's soccer earns first national ranking as No. 22 in NAIA Top 25
Sept. 23, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. ET
The Point Park defense defends No. 7 Rio Grande in the upset victory Sept. 20 at Highmark Stadium.
PITTSBURGH -- The Point Park University men's soccer team has earned the first national ranking in team history coming in at No. 22 in the NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll released Tuesday (Sept. 23) by the national office.
The Pioneers (5-2-0, 1-0-0 KIAC) broke into the NAIA Top 25 for the first time in program history after knocking off then-No. 7 Rio Grande (Ohio), 2-1, at Highmark Stadium on Sept. 20. The RedStorm (5-1-2) dropped down to No. 11 in this week's poll after losing the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game to the Pioneers.
Point Park has won five of its last six games and has also started out conference play with a victory. Rio Grande is a new member to the KIAC this year, and is a yearly contender in the NAIA. The Pioneers have won back-to-back KIAC Tournament titles and have been to the NAIA national tournament the last two years, but Tuesday's No. 22 ranking is the first time the program has been mentioned nationally.
"This is great to have us get our first national ranking with our alumni soccer game coming up this weekend," said Pioneers head coach Jeroen Walstra. "Because this is for all the alumni who have gone before this year's team and have helped us get to this point. This was one of our goals this year -- to get ranked."
Walstra mentions the program's annual alumni soccer game, which will be held Sept. 27 at Green Tree Park at 10 a.m. as part of the Fourth Annual Point Park University Athletics Alumni Weekend.
Point Park had a busy week last week as the victory over Rio Grande capped a stretch of four games in eight days. That stretch started with a home win over Northwestern Ohio, 2-1. Northwestern Ohio is ranked No. 23 this week after pulling an upset of its own, a 2-1 win over then-No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Sunday. Lindsey Wilson is now ranked No. 1 this week.
Tuesday's NAIA Top 25 Poll was the first one of the regular season. The only other poll so far this year was the preseason poll. The next national rankings will be released Sept. 30.
After completing the busiest span of its schedules, Point Park is now off until Oct. 4 when it hosts Cincinnati Christian for a KIAC game. Kickoff at Highmark Stadium is 12:30 p.m.