NAIA Menís Soccer Conference Tournament Report
By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
Conference Tournament Report
• Winners of the 21 conference, independent and unaffiliated group tournaments, to be played through Saturday, Nov. 16, will receive automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship tournament.
• No. 8 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and receiving votes Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) earned automatic bids to the NAIA National Championship by winning the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular-season titles.
• The nine remaining at-large bids will be decided by the final Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) on Sunday, Nov. 17.
• National Championship Opening Round pairings will be announced via a live graphical show at 1 p.m. CST on Monday, Nov. 18.
• All Top 25 teams remain active in their conference tournament fields. Twelve have advanced to the quarterfinals, eight have advanced to the semifinals and one has advanced to the championship game.
• No. 18 Indiana Wesleyan, which won the Crossroads League regular-season title, will play for the first conference tournament championship of 2013 when it takes on Spring Arbor (Mich.) on Saturday, Nov. 9.
• San Diego Christian (Calif.) was the first receiving votes team to be eliminated from its conference tournament, falling 2-0 to The Master’s (Calif.) in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) quarterfinal round on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
• Back-to-back Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) regular-season champion No. 1 Grand View (Iowa) is attempting to win its second-straight conference tournament championship. The Vikings will face William Penn (Iowa) in the conference tournament semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 10.
• No. 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 6 Rio Grande (Ohio) have accounted for every Mid-South Conference (MSC) regular-season and tournament title since the Red Storm joined the conference in 2009. The Blue Raiders, who won the 2013 MSC regular-season title, are attempting to win their third-straight MSC tournament championship. On Saturday, Nov. 9, Lindsey Wilson will face Shawnee State (Ohio) in the MSC tournament quarterfinal round, while Rio Grande will play Bluefield (Va.). If all goes as planned, the Blue Raiders and Red Storm would face off for the conference tournament crown on Friday, Nov. 15.
• No. 3 Ashford (Iowa), who lost to Jamestown (N.D.) in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) tournament championship game last season, is attempting to ride its No. 1 seed to the 2013 tournament title. On Friday, Nov. 15, the Saints will play Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) in the A.I.I. tournament semifinals.
• No. 4 Oklahoma Wesleyan will take on Central Baptist (Ark.) in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) tournament semifinals on Friday, Nov. 15. The Eagles have already won the MCAC regular-season title for the third-straight season.
• No. 5 Hastings, which has finished first in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) in every season since 2000, will begin its conference tournament title defense on Saturday, Nov. 9, when it takes on Northwestern (Iowa) in the GPAC tournament semifinals.
• The Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Tournament kicks off on Friday, Nov. 8, featuring four teams currently ranked among the Top 25: No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 9 Baker (Kan.), No. 11 Benedictine (Kan.) and No. 16 Missouri Valley. The HAAC tournament also features three 2012 NAIA National Championship tournament teams in MidAmerica Nazarene, Benedictine and Missouri Valley.
• The SSAC Tournament begins on Saturday, Nov. 9, and features four 2012 NAIA National Championship tournament teams including defending national champion Belhaven (Miss.), national runner-up Mobile (Ala.), Auburn Montgomery and Southern Poly (Ga.). Four SSAC teams are currently ranked among the Top 25: No. 8 Auburn Montgomery, No. 10 William Carey (Miss.), No. 14 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) and No. 17 Belhaven.
• For the most up-to-date information on all of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Conference Tournaments, click here.
* All information through games played on Wednesday, Nov. 6
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
• The 55th annual National Championship will take place in Montgomery, Ala. This is the fourth-straight year the championship will be held in the state of Alabama with the 2010-11 events being held in Orange Beach, Ala., and the 2012 championship also taking place in Montgomery, Ala. The 2013 championship will be contested from Dec. 2-7 at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex, with opening round games taking place on Nov. 23 at on-campus sites.