KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Defending NAIA national champions Lindsey Wilson College begins 2012 where it ended 2011 -- at the top of a national poll.
The Blue Raiders are No. 1 in the NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top-25 Poll, NAIA officials announced on Tuesday.
Lindsey Wilson received 529 voting points and all 19 first-place votes to claim the program's 37th No. 1 ranking since the 2000 season, according to the NAIA. The Blue Raiders enter the 2012 season on a 23-match winning streak after finishing 2011 with the program's second perfect season.
The preseason top-spot is Lindsey Wilson's eighth No. 1 ranking to open the season in the program's history. The Blue Raiders also opened the 2010, 2006, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 and 1997 seasons at No. 1.
Lindsey Wilson sits in front of No. 2 Baker (Kansas) University (510 voting points) and No. 3 Southern Polytechnic State (Ga.) University (489). Mid-South Conference foe University of Rio Grande (Ohio) is No. 4 in the preseason poll with 479 voting points.
The poll is voted on by a panel of head coaches representing either a conference, the independents or an unaffiliated group. The first regular-season poll is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Five ranked teams are on the Lindsey Wilson schedule this season and another two teams are receiving votes. The Blue Raiders face three teams inside the Top-10 including a trip to Rio Grande on Sept. 29.
Lindsey Wilson hosts No. 25-ranked Saint Xavier (Ill.) University in its first battle of ranked teams on Sept. 1 at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
The Blue Raiders kick off their season at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21, as University of Pikeville visits Walter S. Reuling Stadium.