By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
Box Score - No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) def. Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), 3-2
Box Score - No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) def. No. 3 Concordia (Calif.), 3-2
Box Score - No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) def. No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.), 3-1
Box Score - No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) def. No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 1-0
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - (Bracket) The defending national champion and a newcomer will be playing in the Semifinals of the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship. Top seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and semifinal rookie No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), along with No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) and No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.), advance out of the quarterfinals today. The event is played at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex and co-hosted by the Central Alabama Sports Commission and the Southern States Athletic Conference. The semifinals are scheduled for Noon and 2:30 p.m. CST on Friday.
No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) charged back from a one-goal deficit and eliminated unseeded Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), 3-2, in the first Quarterfinal. Belhaven's Victor Lawrence found the back of the net for the second time, this one in the 56th minute, to knot the score at 2-2. In the 87th minute, Victor France hit his fifth goal of the year for the game-winner. Carl Blundell came up big when he needed to in goal with seven saves in 90 minutes. Hannibal-LaGrange exits the championship with a 16-5-0 record and its first-ever Quarterfinal appearance.
No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) is heading to its second Semifinal in the last three years after a 3-2 win over No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) in the second match of the day. Three-straight goals by the same amount of players powered the Rams (photo top left, courtesy of mgentryphoto.com) offense. Naissim Ayadi, who ranks in the top-15 in the NAIA in assists, found success in scoring as he put home his 12th goal of the year. His marker in the 41st minute handed Mobile a 3-1 lead. Concordia's William Prado put life back into the Eagles with his score in the 81st minute. However, the Ram defense held strong to preserve the victory.
The defending national champs and top seed Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) played solid defense in taking down No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.), 3-1. The Blue Raider offense was shut down until the 44th minute, but that is when Lebogang Moloto took over. The All-Mid-South Conference First Team performer scored back-to-back goals in less than a three-minute span. After his second goal in the 47th minute, Lindsey Wilson led 2-0. However, Emeka Maduka put the Hornets on the board with his marker in the 69th minute. But, Moloto added his third goal in the 73rd minute to ice the game away. Moloto became the first player in the championship with a hat trick since 2008.
In one of the biggest upsets of the tournament thus far, No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) survived against No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 1-0. In front of a partisan Warhawk crowd, MidAmerica Nazarene played superb defense to shut out Auburn Montgomery for just the second time this season. Aurelien Norest posted the game-winner in the 55th minute and the Pioneer defense did its job after that. Goalkeeper Chris Ericksson was credited with the win as he finished with seven saves.
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.
For more information, click here.
Championship Quarterfinal Notes:
• Looking at all-time semifinal appearances for this year's qualifiers: Belhaven (Miss.) is 1-0-1 all-time; Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is 9-3-0 all-time; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) is 0-0-0 all-time and Mobile (Ala.) is 3-3-0 all-time.
• Lindsey Wilson has won three-straight semifinal matches with the last such loss coming in 2004.
• With two double-digit seeds playing in the round of four, that marks the first time since 2009 that a No. 10 or higher seeded team has played in the semifinals
• Lindsey Wilson is the defending national champs and will play in its 13th all-time Semifinal round in 20 all-time appearances.
• Lindsey Wilson is now on an eight-match winning streak in the National Championship with the last loss coming in the 2010 Opening Round. Overall, the Blue Raiders are 13-1 in their last 14 matches played in the postseason.
• Three semifinalists have won at least one national title: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Belhaven (Miss.) and Mobile (Ala.).
• Lindsey Wilson's Philip Sandgren is the leading goal scorer on the year of all four semifinalists: he has 23 goals, which is tied for fifth in the NAIA.
• There were two double-overtime matches in the Second Round which brings the 2012 total to five in this year's National Championship.