Women’s Soccer National Championship Final Site Preview
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Bracket | Schedule) Sixteen teams punched their ticket to the final site of the 29th annual NAIA Women's Soccer National Championships presented by the Sports Medicine Center at Orthopaedic Group, P.C., Nov. 26 - Dec. 1held at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala., after winning opening round matches on Nov. 17. Advancing teams will play in the second round on Nov. 26 - 27 with four games each day, followed by the quarterfinals on Nov. 28. The semifinals are set for Nov. 30, followed by the 2012 national championship contest at 5 p.m. CST on Dec. 1.
Eight of the teams that advanced to the national championship final site in 2011 will be returning for another shot at the title in 2012, including four-time defending national champion and top-seed Lee (Tenn.). The Lady Flames boast a 26-3-2 all-time championship record and are currently riding an unprecedented 21-match championship unbeaten streak following a 5-0 opening round victory against Montreat (N.C.) on Nov. 17. Lee will kick off action in Orange Beach against No. 16 Northwood (Fla.) at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26.
A national title this season would give Lee five-straight, which would be the second-most consecutive national titles for a women's soccer program amongst all divisions. NCAA Division I North Carolina holds the current record of 12-straight titles from 1986-1997.
No. 2 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), who opens play at 11 a.m. on Nov. 26 against final site newcomer No. 15 Ashford (Iowa), is the most experience team in the field with 14 all-time appearances. The Blue Raiders are 24-12-2 in national championship matches, including a pair of national titles in 2004 and 2006.
Outside of Lindsey Wilson, No. 8 Concordia (Ore.) is the only other final site club with 10-or-more national championship appearances. The Cavaliers are 22-11-2 in their 12 trips, but join No. 4 Oklahoma City as the only final site qualifiers that have played in the decisive game, but failed to win the banner. Concordia will square off against unseeded Cumberland (Tenn.) at 4 p.m. on Nov. 27.
Texas at Brownsville and Robert Morris (Ill.) join Cumberland as unseeded squads that upended seeded teams in the opening round. Cumberlands is making its first NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship appearances, while Texas at Brownsville claimed its first-ever national championship win with a 2-1 decision against 13th-seeded William Carey (Miss.) in the opening round. The Ocelots are making their third appearance in the field.
The Southern States Athletic Conference, The Sun Conference, Mid-South Conference and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference all had two schools advance to Orange Beach.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video streaming company of 12 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all final site games of the 2012 NAIA Women's Soccer National Championships. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for$29.95. For more information or to pre-register, click here.