INDIANAPOLIS – With one week remaining in the regular season, the first batch of NCAA regional rankings released on Wednesday has Carson-Newman sitting in national tournament contention at No. 9 in Super-Region 2.
These rankings will be used in order to make the NCAA Tournament field in November. This year, the tournament is moving to a super-regional setup where 10 teams for each of the four super-regions will compete in the first four rounds of action to determine four regional champions.
The top two teams in each region will host first and second round of tournament play from Nov. 21-24 before the third and quarterfinal rounds take place Dec. 5-8.
Teams that make the tournament will be vying for a place in the National Semi-finals at Highmark Stadium on the banks of the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Dec. 12 and 14.
Carson-Newman will be a part of Super-Region 2 where the South Atlantic Conference is aligned with Conference Carolinas, Gulf South Conference Peach Belt Conference and Sunshine State Conference.
Coach Stephen Lyons' group holds a 0.504 strength of schedule overall and in the region which sits at the eighth-highest among the top 12 teams in the Super Region. The Eagles are 10-3-1 with two games left to play on the season, leading the conference with a 6-1-1 record and 19 points on the league table. They fell out of the national rankings this week following a loss to Lander on Oct. 23 and a win over Catawba on Oct. 26.
The Eagles are looking to make their first return to the national tournament since the 2015 season. Since 2003, they have made nine appearances in the tournament.
C-N is one of just three teams in Super-Region 2 to already have 10 wins on the season. No. 3 Lynn and No. 7 Francis Marion also hold double-digit wins.
The Sunshine State Conference currently sits as the powerhouse in the region with three of the top four teams hailing from the league including top-seeded Lynn, third-seeded Florida Tech and fourth-seeded Palm Beach Atlantic.
West Florida is the only team in top third of the poll to not be ranked in the top 20 of the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll. The Argos are No. 21 in the nation with a 9-1-2 record.
Young Harris rounds out the top five with a 9-3 record thus far.
Wingate, Carson-Newman's next opponent enters the ranking as the six-seed after moving into the national poll with a spot at No. 19 this week. The Bulldogs have collected an 8-2-2 record on a .512 strength of schedule within the region. They are three-points behind C-N in the SAC standings.
Francis Marion and reigning Southeast Region champion Lander are sixth and seventh-respectively, right above the Eagles. Lander possesses the third-highest strength of schedule at .538.
Right on the line of making the tournament at present standing is Mississippi College with the No. 10 seed at 6-0-4 on the season.
Auburn University at Montgomery and Queens are the current teams standing on the outside looking in at the top 10 in the 11th and 12th spots, respectively.
Updated rankings will be released each Wednesday through Nov. 13 leading up to the national selection show on Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Carson-Newman looks to take a stronghold on the regular season conference crown as it hosts No. 19 Wingate on Saturday night for Senior Night at McCown Field at 7:30 p.m. Those who cannot be in attendance and encouraged to tune into the live broadcast from the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.