Grizzlies garner regional attention
KANSAS CITY, Kan.— Less than a full week into their inaugural season, the Adams State College men’s soccer team is already receiving regional recognition as the Grizzlies were tabbed seventh in the initial set of NCAA Division II Central Regional Rankings released by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies recorded a 2-2 tie in their first ever match last Thursday night at Mesa State, ranked sixth, and then played Fort Lewis, the top-ranked team in the region last Sunday, falling 9-1.
The Grizzlies also played tenth-ranked UC-Colorado Springs later Tuesday afternoon falling 3-0 in their first ever home match. That result was not figured into the rankings but will be included in the next set of rankings, slated to be released each Tuesday through the end of the regular season on Nov. 10.
The Central Region is made up of 11 total schools from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which does not sponsor the sport of men’s soccer as a league. However, two of the NSIC members— Upper Iowa and Mary (N.D.) do compete in the sport and checked in at No. 4 and 9, respectively.
There are seven other regions from around the country, all of which also had regional rankings released on Tuesday.
The NSCAA rankings are independent of the NCAA Division II Regional Rankings, selected by the sport’s championship committee that will eventually determine the teams selected to compete in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Fort Lewis, off to a 2-0 start, also moved up six spots in the NSCAA’s National Rankings that were also announced Tuesday. The Skyhawks had been ranked 10th in the preseason poll and are now checking in at No. 4. Metro State, 1-0 thus far, also made a big jump in the rankings. The Roadrunners were tabbed 21st in the preseason poll and are now ranked 13th. They are ranked second in the region after defeating Mary (1-1) by a 1-0 score on Saturday in their only match of the young season.
Colorado Mines (2-0) is ranked third in the region and is in the “others receiving votes” category in the national rankings. The Orediggers defeated Northwest Nazarene (Idaho) on Thursday by a 5-1 count before taking out Mary by a 3-0 score on Monday. The latter result was not figured into the rankings, which only accounted for matches played through Sunday.
Regis, which defeated Northwest Nazarene (Idaho) by a 6-2 score on Saturday, after falling to Mary by a 2-1 score last Thursday, is ranked fifth while Mesa State is ranked sixth. The 1-1 Mavericks lost to St. Mary’s (Texas) by a 2-0 count on Sunday after tying the Grizzlies.
Colorado Christian, now 1-2, is ranked eighth. The Cougars, who will host the Grizzlies on Labor Day (Sept. 7), only had their first two results accounted for in the rankings, a 6-0 away loss at Montana State-Billings and a 2-1 win over Great Falls (Mont.), an NAIA squad. They also dropped a 3-0 match to Northwest Nazarene on Monday.
Upper Iowa, which went 1-2 in a trip to Hawai’i last weekend, is ranked ninth while UC-Colorado Springs is 10th. The Mountain Lions had dropped their season-opener by a slim 1-0 margin to Rockhurst (Mo.), ranked 15th nationally at the time, on Friday before bouncing back with Tuesday’s win over the Grizzlies.
Rockhurst, which also defeated the RMAC’s Colorado State-Pueblo, not included in the top 10, on Sunday, is now ranked 10th in the country.
The Grizzlies travel to Pueblo to meet the ThunderWolves this Friday at 2 p.m. at the Rawlings Complex.