NCAA SOCCER: Mustangs debut at No. 3 in region

INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 25 Southwest Minnesota State University women’s soccer team debuted at No. 3 in the first NCAA Division II Central Region rankings released Wednesday by the NCAA national committee.

It is the first time in program history that the Mustangs have earned a ranking in the NCAA Central Region rankings.

The Mustangs are 13-1 overall, 11-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and currently hold the No. 25 ranking in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire top 25 poll. SMSU owns a 13-1 record versus teams in the NCAA Central Region.

The Mustangs are one of five NSIC schools to appear in the regional rankings with No. 1 Minnesota State, No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth, No. 5 Winona State, and No. 6 Upper Iowa. The Mid-America Athletic Association (MIAA) has three teams ranked with No. 2 Central Missouri, No. 8 Lindenwood (Mo.), No. 9 Northeastern State. Representing the Great American Conference (GAC) in the rankings are No. 7 Southwestern Oklahoma State and No. 10 Ouachita Baptist.

The top six teams in the 41-team region will advance to the NCAA Central Region Tournament on Nov. 15-17. Automatic bids are granted to the winners of the GAC, MIAA and NSIC postseason tournaments, with the remaining three spots awarded on an at-large basis.