An 11-game unbeaten streak put the Southern Oregon University men's soccer team in the NAIA Top 25 coaches' poll Tuesday for the first time in the team's four-year history.
The Raiders (10-2-1 overall, 7-0-1 Cascade Conference) debuted at No. 24 in the poll, which was the sixth weekly edition of the regular season. They'd been receiving votes in the previous two polls before finally breaking through.
The CCC is represented by two other teams: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (10-2, 6-1), which SOU defeated 2-0 on Sept. 14, and No. 15 Corban (9-1-1, 6-0-1), which SOU played to a scoreless draw on Sept. 30. Rocky and Corban are slated to match up Friday in Billings, Montanta.
"This is a recognition this team deserves and had deserved for a number of weeks," SOU head coach Davie Carmichael said. "We have progressed and improved as a team with each game and see no reason that we can't continue to climb in these rankings; we've shown on a few occasions already that SOU can compete with anyone in the country. I'm proud of the players and their application and I know that, ranked or not, they are extremely hungry to compete in the next game in front of them."
The Raiders maintain a three-point lead in first place over Corban — which has played one less game — going into this weekend's action. They'll host Northwest (Wash.) at 4 p.m. Friday and Evergreen (Wash.) at 5 p.m. Saturday, attempting to extend a Raider Stadium unbeaten streak that also sits at 11 games.
Southern Oregon forward Misty Martinez's hot streak netted her the Cascade Conference Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week award on Monday.
Martinez, a redshirt-sophomore from Petaluma, Calif., scored her third, fourth and fifth goals in SOU's last four games during a perfect weekend road trip to Portland. She tallied the game-winners in both games — a 9-0 decision at Multnomah and a 3-0 decision at Warner Pacific — and has now done so in three straight.
On the season, Martinez owns team-highs of six goals and four game-winners, all in CCC play. She was also responsible for the Raiders' lone goal in a conference draw.
SOU is 7-2-2 overall and 5-1-1 in the CCC going into home games this weekend — 6:30 p.m. Friday against Northwest (Wash.) and 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Evergreen (Wash.).
Southern Oregon took a dip in the NAIA Top 25 football coaches' poll Monday for the first time this season, moving five spots to No. 7 following Saturday's 34-21 loss at Rocky Mountain (Mont.).
The news was better elsewhere in the Frontier Conference, which is now represented by an NAIA-high five teams. Eastern Oregon (3-2), SOU's opponent this week in Ashland, was the latest addition at No. 24 overall. Rocky Mountain (4-2) ascended five spots to No. 16, Montana Western (4-1) went up three to No. 19, and Montana Tech (3-2) dropped five to No. 25.
Montana Western — which came back for a 32-19 win last week against Montana Tech by outscoring the Orediggers 26-0 in the fourth quarter — moved into a first-place tie with SOU. The teams will have their only matchup of the season Nov. 10 at Raider Stadium.
Rocky Mountain and Montana Tech are both a game back in the standings.
Morningside (Iowa) retained the No. 1 ranking and Marian (Ind.) took over the No. 2 spot.