Women's soccer kicks off season in NAIA top 25

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The John Brown University women's soccer team will open the 2017 season ranked No. 18 in the nation, the NAIA national offices announced Tuesday (Aug. 15) afternoon.

The Golden Eagles received 216 points, just two points behind No. 17 Hasting (Neb.) and finished 20 points ahead of No. 19 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.). Northwestern Ohio took the top spot with 467 points while Spring Arbor (Mich.) grabbed second, 15 points behind the leader. Vanguard (Calif.) earned a third-place ranking with 430 points.

John Brown will face four opponents that found a slot on the Preseason Top-25 Poll, or in the receiving votes category. JBU will open the season with No. 25 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Aug. 25 and will travel to No. 16 Cumberland (Tenn.) for a rematch with the Pheonix, a squad that ousted the Golden Eagles from the 2016 NAIA National Championships in the Opening Round. On Sept. 7, JBU will open its own classic with a matchup with No. 24 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) and turn right around on two days later and welcome Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) to Alumni Field. The Tigers are receiving votes and tied with John Brown last season in Bourbonnais, Ill.

A year ago, the Golden Eagles completed its first-ever regular season-conference tournament title sweep, finishing the season 18-2-1, the program's best-ever single-season mark. John Brown ran through the conference gaunlet a perfect 9-0-0 and currently own a 21-game winning streak at Alumni Field.

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