KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Bracket - PDF) (Video Announcement) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the Opening Round pairings and tournament bracket for the 2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship. There will be 30 teams playing at 15 campus sites on Nov. 23. The 15 winners of the National Championship Opening Round matches, as well as host Mobile (Ala.), will advance to the 30th annual NAIA National Championship final site in Orange Beach, Ala., Dec. 2 – 7.
For more information on the 2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round and final site, click here.
This year’s 31 teams include 24 automatic qualifiers – awarded to conference, independent and unaffiliated group tournament and regular-season champions – six at-large bids and one host berth. There are 17 teams that qualified for the 2012 championship and are back again this year.
The six at-large teams were selected based on the final official NAIA Women’s Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI). The MRPI consists of the team’s modified winning percentage, their opponents’ winning percentage and the cumulative ratings points from the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Each of the three values has a weighted percentage calculated in the MRPI. The MRPI modifies the value of home, away and neutral results, and adds more value for games against opponents ranked in their respective national poll.
Defending national champion and top seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) earned its 15th-consecutive trip after winning the Mid-South Conference tournament title. The Blue Raiders, who host Asbury (Ky.), are 5-0-0 all-time in Opening Round contests. Asbury is making its second trip to the national championship – first coming in 2009 – and is searching for the program’s first-ever victory at the event.
Joining Lindsey Wilson as Opening Round hosts are: Concordia (Calif.), Concordia (Ore.), Cumberland (Tenn.), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Martin Methodist (Tenn.), Northwood (Fla.), Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), Spring Arbor (Mich.), St. Ambrose (Iowa), St. Thomas (Fla.), The Master’s (Calif.), Vanguard (Calif.), Westmont (Calif.) and William Carey (Miss.)
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), Concordia (Calif.), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), William Carey (Miss.), St. Thomas (Fla.), Concordia (Ore.), Northwood (Fla.), The Master’s (Calif.), Spring Arbor (Mich.), Vanguard (Calif.), St. Ambrose (Iowa), Cumberland (Tenn.), Martin Methodist (Tenn.) and Westmont (Calif.). Overall, hosts recorded a 12-3-0 record last year.
Five of this year’s qualifiers have made 10-or-more national championship appearances, led by Westmont with 16. Lindsey Wilson is second with 15 trips to the event, while Concordia (Ore.) is third with 13. Embry-Riddle and Martin Methodist, who each have punched a ticket 10 times, round out the group.
Four programs have won at least one previous national championship: Westmont (5), Lindsey Wilson (3), Martin Methodist (2) and Mobile (1).
Two squads punched a ticket to their first-ever national championship after winning their respective conference crowns – Columbia (Mo.) and Our Lady of the Lake (Texas). The Cougars finished the year with a 16-2-1 record and claimed the America Midwest Conference’s automatic bid with a 2-0 win over Park (Mo.) on Nov. 14. Our Lady of the Lake – 16-2-1 on the season – won the Red River Athletic Conference crown almost one week prior with a 2-1 victory against Texas at Brownsville.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video streaming company, will be broadcasting all final site games of the 2013 Women’s Soccer National Championship in Orange Beach, Ala. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer Opening Round Pairings (Full Championship Schedule)
- Asbury (Ky.) (11-8-0) at No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (18-3-0)
- Graceland (Iowa) (13-5-3) at No. 16 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (16-3-2)
- John Brown (Ark.) (14-3-3) at No. 8 Concordia (Calif.) (16-0-3)
- Reinhardt (Ga.) (15-3-2) at No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (14-4-1)
- Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) (16-2-1) at No. 12 William Carey (Miss.) (17-4-0)
- Hastings (Neb.) (16-4-1) at No. 13 St. Thomas (Fla.) (16-1-1)
- William Jessup (Calif.) (14-6-0) at No. 4 Concordia (Ore.) (17-1-1)
- Bellevue (Neb.) (10-7-3) at No. 3 Northwood (Fla.) (14-1-1)
- Cal State San Marcos (11-5-1) at No. 14 The Master’s (Calif.) (15-5-0)
- Robert Morris (Ill.) (13-4-1) at No. 11 Spring Arbor (Mich.) (18-2-1)
- Columbia (Mo.) (16-2-1) at No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.) (15-4-0)
- No. 7 Davenport (Mich.) (17-2-1) at St. Ambrose (Iowa) (14-4-1)
- Ottawa (Kan.) (13-6-2) at No. 10 Cumberland (Tenn.) (15-3-1)
- Trinity International (Ill.) (13-5-3) at No. 15 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (15-5-1)
- Westminster (Utah) (11-7-2) at No. 2 Westmont (Calif.) (15-1-3)