By Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Media
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Championship Schedule | Video Announcement | Bracket) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially announced the teams and pairings for the 2017 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round. The 31-team NAIA Opening Round event at 15 campus locations will occur on Nov. 18.
The 2017 NAIA Opening Round winners and host Mobile (Ala.) will meet up in Orange Beach, Ala., at the NAIA National Championship final site event. The 34th annual championship takes place at the Orange Beach Sportsplex from Nov. 27 – Dec. 2.
This year’s opening round field includes 24 automatic qualifiers, six at-large selections and one host berth. Automatic berths were given to teams that either won their respective conference tournament title, regular-season championship or finished runner-up at the conference tournament. The at-large bids were determined by the Soccer National Selection Committee, which is in existence for the first time. For more information on the National Selection Committee, go to Appendix B of the Soccer Coaches Manual.
The NAIA Network – the association’s official video streaming home – will broadcast all 15 matches live at the 2017 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship final site in Orange Beach, Ala. The video platform, powered by Stretch Internet, allows users access to live video, statistics, and social interaction on a number of devices, including mobile. Single day passes can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-championship tournament package is available at $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click HERE.
The 2017 national championship final site bracket will be announced late on Nov. 18 on NAIA.org.
- Six newcomers make their championship debut, which include: Bryan (Tenn.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Marian (Ind.), Oklahoma Wesleyan, Southeastern (Fla.) and St. Thomas – Houston (Texas).
- The Golden State Athletic Conference and Southern States Athletic Conference each paved the way with three qualifiers each, the most of any league.
- Amongst the 2017 qualifiers, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is making the most appearances with 19. The Blue Raiders also hold the most wins (41) and the most consecutive trips with 17.
- Overall, Westmont (Calif.) claims the most national titles amongst the current qualifiers with five. Lindsey Wilson is right behind with four, followed by Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (2), Mobile (Ala.) (1), University of Northwestern Ohio (1) and Spring Arbor (Mich.) (1).
- University of Northwestern Ohio, a 1-0 winner over Spring Arbor in the 2016 championship title match, seeks to become the first back-to-back national champion since former member Lee (Tenn.) went for four in-a-row from 2008-11.
- There are 15 teams from the 2016 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round in the field again this year.
- Siena Heights (Mich.) and Trinity Christian (Ill.) are snapping the longest drought with their last appearance coming in 2011.
- Columbia (Mo.) and Martin Methodist boast the most wins on the season with 20 victories.
2017 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Qualifiers
|School||Qualification||Season Record^||Appearances*||Record||Last Time||Titles||Consecutive*|
|Asbury (Ky.)||River States Tournament Champion||14-4-1||3rd||0-2-0||2013||0||--|
|Benedictine (Kan.)||Heart of America Athletic Tournament Champion||16-2-2||6th||7-4-1||2016||0||4th|
|Bryan (Tenn.)||Appalachian Athletic Regular-Season Champion||12-6-0||1st||0-0-0||--||--||--|
|Central Methodist (Mo.)||Heart of America Athletic Regular-Season Champion||16-2-2||1st||0-0-0||--||--||--|
|Columbia (Mo.)||American Midwest Regular-Season Champion||20-1-0||5th||1-3-2||2016||0||5th|
|Eastern Oregon||Cascade Collegiate Tournament No. 1 Seed||13-3-2||2nd||0-1-0||2015||0||--|
|Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)||California Pacific Tournament Champion||16-3-0||3rd||0-2-0||2015||0||--|
|Georgia Gwinnett||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||14-3-2||2nd||0-1-0||2015||0||--|
|Hastings (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Tournament Champion||15-2-4||8th||4-7-2||2016||0||5th|
|Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||Mid-South Tournament Champion||10-5-3||19th||41-14-3||2016||4||17th|
|Martin Methodist (Tenn.)||Southern States Athletic Tournament Champion||20-1-0||14th||20-9-3||2016||2||14th|
|Master's, The (Calif.)||At-Large||14-5-1||4th||2-3-0||2014||0||--|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Final Site Host Berth||14-4-0||12th||13-9-1||2016||1||8th|
|Northwest (Wash.)||Cascade Collegiate Tournament Runner-Up||11-9-0||2nd||2-1-1||2016||0||2nd|
|Northwestern Ohio, University of||At-Large||17-2-1||4th||12-2-0||2016||1||4th|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Regular-Season Champion||19-1-1||1st||0-0-0||--||--||--|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Regular-Season Champion||13-6-1||6th||5-4-2||2014||0||--|
|Ottawa (Kan.)||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Tournament No. 2 Seed||16-3-1||6th||1-4-1||2016||0||2nd|
|Science & Arts (Okla.)||Sooner Athletic Tournament Champion||17-3-1||3rd||0-2-0||2015||0||--|
|Siena Heights (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Tournament Champion||12-6-2||7th||2-7-0||2011||0||--|
|Southeastern (Fla.)||The Sun Tournament Champion||17-1-0||1st||0-0-0||--||--||--|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Crossroads League Tournament Champion||19-1-1||9th||14-6-2||2016||1||8th|
|St. Thomas (Texas)||Red River Athletic Tournament Champion||11-5-2||1st||0-0-0||--||--||--|
|Tennesse Wesleyan||Appalachian Athletic Tournament Champion||13-4-2||3rd||0-2-0||2016||0||2nd|
|Trinity Christian (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||19-2-0||3rd||4-2-1||2011||0||--|
|Vanguard (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Tournament Champion||15-3-1||7th||5-3-4||2016||0||6th|
|William Carey Miss.)||At-Large||16-2-0||9th||8-8-1||2016||0||2nd|
|William Woods (Mo.)||American Midwest Tournament Runner-Up||13-5-3||2nd||0-1-0||2014||0||--|
^ Record taken from school's DakStats page
% All data includes the 2017 Opening Round
Opening Round Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 18 | Campus Sites
Match 1 – Bryan (Tenn.) (12-6-0) at No. 1 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (20-1-0)
Match 2 – Central Methodist (Mo.) (16-2-2) at No. 16 Marian (Ind.) (15-3-3)
Match 3 – Trinity Christian (Ill.) (19-2-0) at No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.) (16-2-2)
Match 4 – Northwest (Wash.) (11-9-0) at No. 5 Vanguard (Calif.) (15-3-1)
Match 5 – Georgia Gwinnett (14-3-2) at No. 12 Southeastern (Fla.) (17-1-0)
Match 6 – Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (10-5-3) at No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan (19-1-1)
Match 7 – St. Thomas (Texas) at No. 4 William Carey (Miss.) (16-2-0)
Match 8 – Asbury (Ky.) (14-4-1) at No. 2 Spring Arbor (Mich.) (19-1-1)
Match 9 – Science & Arts (Okla.) (17-3-1) at No. 15 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) (16-3-0)
Match 10 – Siena Heights (Mich.) (12-6-2) at No. 10 Columbia (Mo.) (20-1-0)
Match 11 – Eastern Oregon (13-3-2) at No. 7 Westmont (Calif.) (14-3-2)
Match 12 – Tennessee Wesleyan (13-4-2) at No. 6 Keiser (Fla.) (15-2-1)
Match 13 – Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (13-6-1) at No. 11 The Master’s (Calif.) (14-5-1)
Match 14 – Hastings (Neb.) (15-2-4) at No. 14 Ottawa (Kan.) (16-3-1)
Match 15 – William Woods (Mo.) (13-5-3) at No. 3 University of Northwestern Ohio (17-2-1)