By Chad Waller | Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has officially released the 32 qualifiers for the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round. The teams will play at 16 on-campus locations in the National Championship Opening Round on Nov. 17. The 16 opening round winners will advance to the 54th annual national championship final site from Nov. 26 - Dec. 1 at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Ala.
The bracket of the National Championship Opening Round will be released Monday at 1 p.m. CST.
The 32 teams are comprised of 24 automatic qualifiers awarded to conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournament and regular-season champions. The rest of the field is made up of eight at-large teams, selected by the final NAIA Men's Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) announced today. Fourteen clubs are repeat performers from last year, while eight teams will be competing in their first-ever championship
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), who is ranked No. 1 in both the latest Coaches' Top 25 poll and the NAIA MRPI, headlines the qualifiers. The Blue Raiders are the defending national champs and earned an automatic bid by winning the Mid-South Conference tournament on Saturday.
Lindsey Wilson leads all qualifiers with its 20th appearance and 45 championship wins. The victories are the most all-time in the NAIA and the 20 trips is tied for second in history. The Blue Raiders, who are making their 19th-straight trip overall, is one of four current teams with 10-or-more appearances. Mobile (Ala.) will look to improve upon its 21-14-2 record in its 16th appearance. Rio Grande (Ohio) (12) and Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) (10) are the other two with double-digit trips.
The Southern States Athletic Conference, which had the most representation of all leagues in each of the Top 25 polls this year, again sends the most teams to the national championship. Auburn Montgomery, Belhaven (Miss.), Mobile and Southern Poly (Ga.) all hail from the SSAC. The Heart of America Athletic Conference places Benedictine (Kan.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Missouri Valley in the championship.
Five teams in this year's field have won at least one national championship, led by the nine rings earned by Lindsey Wilson. The Blue Raiders took home the 2011 title with a 3-2 overtime win over Hastings (Neb.), which put them two national championships shy of the all-time record of 11 held by former member Quincy (Ill.). Belhaven, Hastings, Mobile and Rio Grande (Ohio) all have won a previous championship.
The eight at-large berths were awarded based on the final official NAIA Men's Soccer 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/neutral results and adds more value for games against opponents ranked in their respective national poll. To view the final MRPI, please click here.
NeuLion, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of 12 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all matches of the 2012 Men's Soccer National Championship final site in Montgomery, 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.
2012 Men's Soccer National Championship Qualifiers
|School||Qualification||Season Record||Championship Appearances||Last Time||Record||Titles|
|Aquinas (Mich.)||Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Tournament Champion||13-5-3||2nd||2000||0-1-0||0|
|Ashford (Iowa)||At-Large No. 8||12-3-4||2nd||2009||0-1-0||0|
|Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||Southern States Athletic Tournament Champion||16-3-2||10th||2007||15-9-2||0|
|Belhaven (Miss.)||At-Large No. 6||14-4-1||9th||2011||9-8-4||1|
|Benedictine (Kan.)||Heart of America Athletic Tournament Champion||12-2-4||4th||2009||4-3-0||0|
|Cardinal Stritch (Wis.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Regular Season Champion||13-4-2||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Columbia (Mo.)||At-Large No. 3||14-1-5||4th||2010||1-3-0||0|
|Concordia (Calif.)||Golden State Athletic Tournament Champion||17-2-1||5th||2008||3-3-1||0|
|Concordia (Ore.)||Cascade Collegiate Tournament Champion||15-3-2||7th||2011||0-6-2||0|
|Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)||California Pacific Tournament Champion||14-2-3||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Florida Memorial||The Sun Tournament Champion||8-10-1||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Grand View (Iowa)||Midwest Collegiate Tournament Champion||9-7-2||8th||2011||5-7-0||0|
|Hannibal - LaGrange (Mo.)||American Midwest Tournament Champion||14-4||3rd||2011||0-1-2||0|
|Hastings (Neb.)||Great Plains Athletic Tournament Champion||15-6||9th||2011||15-5-3||1|
|Jamestown (N.D.)||Association of Independent Institutions Tournament Champion||15-4-1||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Kansas Wesleyan||Kansas Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||16-2-2||4th||2011||0-3-0||0|
|Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||Mid-South Tournament Champion||19-1||20th||2011||45-10-4||9|
|MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||At-Large No. 4||12-1-7||3rd||2011||1-2-0||0|
|Missouri Valley||At-Large No. 7||12-6-2||3rd||2011||0-2-0||0|
|Mobile (Ala.)||Southern States Athletic Regular Season Champion||14-4-1||16th||2011||21-14-2||1|
|Oklahoma Baptist||Sooner Athletic Tournament Champion||8-8-1||3rd||2010||1-2-0||0|
|Oklahoma Wesleyan||Midlands Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||19-0-1||2nd||2011||0-1-0||0|
|Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Tournament Champion||13-4-4||2nd||2009||0-1-0||0|
|Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)||Red River Athletic Regular Season Champion||12-7-1||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Point Park (Penn.)||Unaffiliated Group (Gulf Coast/Kentucky Intercollegiate) Tournament Champion||11-6||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Rio Grande (Ohio)||At-Large No. 1||15-2-1||12th||2011||19-8-2||1|
|Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||Unaffiliated Group (Frontier/TranSouth) Tournament Champion||13-2-2||1st||--||0-0-0||0|
|Science & Arts (Okla.)||At-Large No. 2||13-0-4||4th||2011||4-3-0||0|
|Southern Poly (Ga.)||At-Large No. 5||13-5-1||4th||2011||4-3-0||0|
|Spring Arbor (Mich.)||Crossoads League Tournament Champion||16-3-2||4th||1979||3-6-0||0|
|Tennessee Wesleyan||Appalachian Athletic Tournament Champion||14-3-3||3rd||2001||0-4-0||0|
|Texas Wesleyan||Red River Athletic Tournament Runner-Up||9-7-2||1st||--||0-0-0||0|