And speaking of polls and national rankings…..
Navarro’s soccer team made the biggest jump in the latest NJCAA Division I poll released Wednesday.
The Bulldogs, coached by Debbie and Aric Bonner, finally received a little spike of confidence as reward from a two-week run of four consecutive match victories that included wins over three ranked teams. Navarro moved from 10th all the way to fourth place thanks, in part, to victories over Cisco, Region XIV rival Tyler and Division III Richland College.
Navarro (6-2, 3-0) sits fourth behind unbeaten, top-ranked Paradise Valley CC, Az. (10-0), No. 2 Laramie County (8-1) and No. 3 Iowa Western (6-1). NC is the highest rated two-loss team in the poll — and one of those setbacks was a 1-0 decision to Laramie County at Tyler on September 1.
Perhaps the pronounced jump carries more significance when their recent body of work is weighed. Just last Tuesday, the Bulldogs pulled off a thrilling 3-2 conference win over Tyler at TJC’s Pat Hartley Field. When last week’s poll was distributed last Wednesday morning, the Bulldogs probably had every right to feel a little disillusioned when they first saw that the road win over the then-fourth-ranked defending NJCAA Tournament qualifiers dropped them from 9th to 10th.
The young Bulldogs — with only four sophomores on their roster — appear to be putting all the pieces together one game at a time and improving in the process. Not only do they have a win at Tyler, they’re unbeaten in four home matches. They’ve taken a 2-1 overtime thriller from a 15th-ranked Region V Cisco club (6-2). Also, they’ve posted consecutive shutout victories — one, gaining a smattering of revenge against Richland, a team ranked No. 5 in the current NJCAA Division III poll.
They are riding a good wave now that may crescendo.
Sophomore Judith Bast (12 points / 4 goals and 4 assists), and freshmen Trudi Carter (11 points / 5 goal and 1 assist) lead the team in points and shotmaking. Freshmen Caroline Spurrier and Shanise Foster each have three assists.
Navarro seeks its fifth straight win at 5:15 pm Thursday when it hosts new Region XIV member Jacksonville.
Then, the Bulldogs embark on a journey to Rochester, NY, to face the fifth-ranked Monroe Community College Tribunes (7-1) at 3 pm (CDT) Friday and the Community College of Rhode Island Knights at Noon (CDT) Saturday. Both weekend matches will be played at Monroe CC’s John DiMarco Field.
NJCAA DIVISION I SOCCER POLL / September 25, 2013
No. Ranked Team W-L
1. Paradise Valley CC, Az. 10-0
2. Laramie County, CC, Wy 8-1
3. Iowa Western CC 6-1
4. Navarro, Tx 6-2
5. Monroe CC, NY 7-1
6. Tyler, Tx 7-2
7. Lewis & Clark CC 9-0
8. Butler CC, Ks 7-2
9. Monroe College 6-0
10. Iowa Central 7-1
11. Eastern Florida State 5-2-1
12. Darton State, Ga 8-1
13. Jones County, Ms. 7-0
14. Schoolcraft, Mi 6-0
15. Cisco, Tx 6-2
16. Barton CC, Ks. 6-2
17. Cape Fear CC, NC 7-0
18. Iowa Lakes CC 8-2
19. Coffeyville, Ks 6-2
20. Johnson County, Ks. 7-1
20. Meridian CC, Ms 7-1