Sept. 22, 2009

Courtesy of Northern Kentucky

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – An unbeaten week of action has landed the Northern Kentucky University men’s soccer team on top of the NCAA Division I national poll, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced on Tuesday.

After shutting out Ashland in a scoreless draw and defeating Indianapolis in a hard-fought, 2-1 decision, NKU saw its stock rise when Tampa, last week’s No. 1-ranked team, played then-No. 22 West Florida to a 1-1 tie.

Lynn (Fla.), Cal State Los Angeles, Lees-McRae (N.C.) and Tampa rounded out the national top five. Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Drury rose three positions to No. 10, while Wisconsin-Parkside broke into the poll at No. 24, making Sunday’s game between the Norse and Rangers a top-25 matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. from Town & Country Sports Complex in Wilder, Ky.

The Norse (7-0-1, 4-0-0 GLVC) are led by the offensive efforts of Steven Beattie, who has nine goals on the season. The junior now stands at 41 career goals, good for second all-time at NKU and just five behind career record holder Chad Scott, who netted 46 goals from 1992-1995.

Defensively, junior goalkeeper Michael Lavric brought his career shutout total to 18, also a school record. He has built his success once again on a strong back line, led by seniors Chris Dobrowolski and Alex Allison, part of a defense which has allowed just 3.5 shots on goal per game this season.

NKU has been ranked No. 1 in the national poll in each of the last three seasons. On Oct. 2, 2007, the Norse ascended to the top of the rankings for the first time in program history thanks to a 12-0 start to the season, remaining the nation’s top team until eventually falling in the NCAA national quarterfinals to Lincoln Memorial.

Last season, NKU started the season as the No. 5 team in the nation, claiming the nation’s top spot by Sept. 9 and holding it for three weeks before a disappointing weekend at Drury and Rockhurst knocked the Norse down. NKU would eventually finish the season No. 4 in the nation as an NCAA semifinalist.

The Norse return to action on Friday when they host GLVC foe Saint Joseph’s. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.