SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The Spring Arbor University women’s soccer team will open the 2015 season ranked for the fifth consecutive year after coming in at No. 8 in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, announced by the national office on Tuesday.
The ranking is the second-highest preseason position for SAU in program history after landing at No. 3 to open the 2013 campaign.
In 2014, the Cougars posted a 19-1-2 record, including a spotless 9-0 mark in the Crossroads League, en route to claiming their fifth straight conference championship. Head coach Jason Crist returns six starters from last year’s squad, including a pair of NAIA All-Americans in junior Corrie Good and senior Sarah Yancer.
Holding down the top spot in the Top 25 Poll was the defending national champion Lindsey Wilson College, who the Cougars are slated to face off against on Sept. 11 in Columbia, Kentucky. Six other teams on the slate also appeared in the rankings. Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) and Benedictine College (Kan.) came in at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, while The Master’s College (Calif.) was just outside the top 10 at No. 11. Siena Heights University rounds out the ranked non-conference opponents at No. 18.
A total of three teams from the Crossroads League garnered spots in the Poll. Joining SAU was Grace College at No. 15 and Mount Vernon Nazarene University at No. 25.
Spring Arbor will be challenged right out of the gates this season, facing three straight ranked opponents beginning with Benedictine in Atchison, Kansas on Saturday, Aug. 22. The Cougars will then return home to host Siena Heights on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. and The Master’s on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.