The Menlo College football team opted out of the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference to rejoin the NAIA-sponsored program this year, joining the rest of the Oaks' sports.
It didn't take long for the switch to pan out. The Oaks woke up Monday morning to find themselves ranked 24th in the NAIA Coaches Top 25.
Menlo (3-1) enjoyed dual status with the NCAA and NAIA when the school decided to become a four-year institution in the mid 1980s. The Oaks even reached the NCAA Division III national playoffs once, losing to host Central College of Pella, Iowa, 17-0, in the first round in 1987.
These days Menlo is solely aligned with NAIA.
The Oaks were winless in 2005 and eventually rebuilt the program to where it stands today. Current coach Fred Guidici, a long-time assistant at Menlo, helped reshape the landscape. He was on the staff when the Oaks were naionally ranked at the end of the 2001 season, in which Menlo finished 8-2.
The Oaks, who beat Southern Oregon over the weekend, take on Whitworth in their homecoming game Saturday at noon.
Junior forward Amanda Torres, a Woodside High grad, scored four goals and recorded assists pon two others as Menlo earned its first win of the season, beating host Mills College, 7-0, on Tuesday in a Cal Pac Conference contest.
Torres opened the scoring in the first two minutes, with an assist from Adri Martinez. She then delivered a free kick, in the air, to Megan McKee, who headed it in. McKee scored twice, with Torres assisting each time.
Christine Rodriguez also scored for the Oaks (1-1, 1-5-1), who host Bethany on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep grad Alex Vukic recorded an unassisted goal in the first half and Menlo made it stand up in a 1-0 victory over host Cal Maritime in a Cal Pac Conference match Tuesday.
The Oaks (1-1, 1-6-1) host Bethany at 11 a.m. Saturday.