It hasn’t been easy being a ranked team in Division II soccer this season. Last week, 10 new teams entered the United Soccer Coaches Poll, while defending champion and preseason No. 1 Wingate exited it thanks to an upset by Rollins.
RELATED: United Soccer Coaches poll
British politician Benjamin Disraeli said "change is inevitable." He was referring to the progressiveness of government and not the DII Men's Soccer Poll, but it applies here as well.
Let's take a look at some takeaways from this week's DII soccer poll.
Charleston (WV) remains at the top, but Top 10 welcomes three new teams
Charleston opened both Mountain East Conference play and its home slate last week. The Golden Eagles responded with two commanding victories, defeating both Concord and Tiffin 4-0. Sophomore Ettore Bellstracci has become a consistent goalscorer, scoring in three of his four games this season. Bellstracci, plus the pairing of juniors Patrick Guier and Will Roberts, will make the Golden Eagles a powerful offensive force.
Colorado Mesa (No. 6), Rockhurst (No. 7) and Palm Beach Atlantic (No. 10) all entered the Top 10.
A 2-0 upset of then-No. 7 St. Edwards helped Colorado Mesa make one of the biggest leaps of the week, rising 10 spots to No. 6. The Mavericks have now outscored their opponents 7-1 to start the season as they enter Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play this weekend. Sunday pits them against newly ranked (No. 18) Regis in what could very well be the game of the week.
Lincoln Memorial is the big riser of the week
Lincoln Memorial jumped 11 spots to No. 13, making the Railsplitters the most improved team of the week in the rankings. The Railsplitters opened their home schedule with a 2-1 victory against then-No. 11 Young Harris. Danilo de Silva scored on a breakaway in overtime to give LMU the win. The Railsplitters are 3-0 and face No. 5 Lenoir-Rhyne and No. 17 Lees-McRae over the next 10 days.
Upper Iowa and Colorado Mesa both rose 10 spots this week. First-year head coach Willie McGowan has Upper Iowa trending in the right direction – a 3-0 start after a disappointing 8-9 record for the Peacocks in 2016.
By the numbers …
7 - new teams in in the poll. Lees-McRae enters the highest at No. 17 with Regis, Maryville, Rollins, West Virginia Wesleyan, Lander and Le Moyne joining the Top 25.
4 - number of teams either ranked or receiving votes that have yet to allow a goal in 2017. Lynn, Lenoir-Rhyne, Regis and Ohio Valley are among the stingiest defenses in DII soccer.
3 - ranked teams that are among the top-scoring offenses in DII soccer. West Virginia Wesleyan stands alone at 4.50 goals per game, while Cal Baptist and Simon Fraser are tied for second in scoring at four goals per match.
2 - Conferences tied as the most-represented in the top 25. The Sunshine State Conference (Lynn, Palm Beach Atlantic, Rollins) and the Northeast-10 (Adelphi, Southern New Hampshire, Le Moyne) share the honors.
12 - ranked teams that remain perfect — no losses or draws — on the season. Eight teams remain undefeated with only one draw as their only blemish thus far in 2017.
0 - ranked teams with the longest winning streak of the season. That honor goes to unranked San Francisco State, which has reeled off a perfect 5-0 start.