Wednesday proved to be a day of powerful messages for the Oklahoma Wesleyan University soccer teams.
For the Lady Eagles the tidings were all positive.
Earlier in the day, they rose to the No. 7 spot in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll— the team’s highest-ever national ranking.
OKWU ladies capped the day by socking it to Saint Mary (Kan.), 10-0, to improve to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Meanwhile, the OKWU Eagles men’s team dropped to one of its lowest rankings in 11 seasons. The Eagles slide to No. 23 or No. 24, depending on which version of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll one chooses.
On the poll listed on the NAIA website, the Eagles sat at No. 24 with 128 voting points; on the poll that appeared on the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference website, OKWU owned the No. 23 spot with 135 voting points.
Either way, the Eagles — who were 3-4-1 when the coaches voted — comprised the lone team with a losing record in the Top 25. OKWU has been ranked in 112 of the last113 polls, dating back to 2012, one of the nation’s most impressive skeins of ranking recognition.
The fall from No. 14 the previous week to near the bottom of the poll put the Eagles in a precarious position after this week to remain in the Top 25 unless they posted a few wins.
They answered later on Wednesday with a blistering statement, zapping Saint Mary, 6-2, in a KCAC showdown in Bartlesville. With the win, the Eagles evened their record (4-4-1) and improved to 3-1 in the KCAC.
LADY EAGLES CONTINUE TO SIZZLE
OKWU registered its second 10-0 victory. In four conference games, the Lady Eagles have outscored their opponents, 41-1.
Leading OKWU’s blitz on Wednesday was Laura Maria — the nation’s leading scorer — with four goals and one assist. She unleashed eight shots on goal.
Joelle Meister and Naroa Domenech contributed two goals each, followed by Jacey Rupe and Jenna Vick with one apiece. Domenech, Sarah Evans, Summer Miles and Martina Cordova produced one assist apiece.
Goalie Nerea Perez Mora made one save while recording her eighth season shutout.
Next up, the Lady Eagles — who are coached by Ivan Ristic — play Saturday at Bethany (Kan.) College.
As far as this week’s poll, OKWU had been lodged at No. 8 the previous two weeks before making the historic climb to No. 7.
EAGLES MAKE STATEMENT
For whatever reasons, OKWU is off to its toughest start in more than a decade. But, the Eagles still boast one of the nation’s elite programs the past several years and impressive talent.
In other words, there’s been a sense it’s only a matter of time until the Eagles — coached by Jamie Peterson — put it all together.
Wednesday’s 6-2 win against Saint Mary (Kan.) might have been a precursor to the turnaround. OKWU scored a season high in goals and improved to 3-1 in its last four matches.
Stefan Cvetanovic broke loose with a hat-trick (three goals) to spearhead the Eagles’ attack. Ziatan Ramic, Victor Crispim and Matheus Ferreira each added one goal.
Ferreira also delivered two assists.
Llija Catic went the distance in goal and made two saves to help lift OKWU.
Next up, the Eagles play Saturday night at Bethany (Kan.) College.
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: OKWU soccer teams sweep matches, have good and bad news in polls