By Spencer Scheve, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – (Schedule | Men's Bracket | Women's Bracket) For the second time in association history, the NAIA hosts the Men's and Women's Lacrosse National Invitational May 3 – 6 at Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, S.C. There are eight men's programs and eight women's programs that will compete in a single-elimination tournaments for a shot at the title. The 2017 event is hosted in conjunction with VisitGreenvilleSC.
Automatic qualification was given to the three conference tournament champions and the highest rated Independent team in the final edition of the NAIA Men's Lacrosse Coaches' Top 10 Poll or NAIA Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Top 10 Poll – both announced on April 23. Four additional at-large teams were determined using the polls.
Men's and women's lacrosse are currently in the second year of a two-year process towards becoming an NAIA National Championship sport.
The NAIA Network – the association's official video streaming home – will broadcast all 14 matches live at the 2017 NAIA Men's and Women's Lacrosse National Invitational. 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 $4.95, while an all-invitational package is available for $9.95. For more information and to pre-register, click HERE.
For more information on NAIA men's lacrosse, click here.
For more information on NAIA women's lacrosse, click here.
2017 Men's National Invitational
Invitational action opens Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT when No. 3 Lourdes (Ohio) plays No. 6 Indiana Tech in the first of four first round contests. The contest is a rematch of a March 29 meeting that was won by the Warriors, 14-7.
Missouri Valley, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament champion, enters the event as the No. 1 seed after ranking atop the Coaches' Poll in every edition this season. The Vikings carry a 13-1 record into the event with their only loss coming in overtime against NCAA Division II Rockhurst (Mo.), 11-12, on February 4.
Ryan Barnes, a sophomore from Farmington, Minn., leads the attack for Missouri Valley with 74 points on 48 goals and 26 assists this season.
The Vikings open invitational play Thursday at 4 p.m. against No. 8 seed Saint Mary (Kan.). In the last meeting on April 8, Missouri Valley defeated the Spires, 18-5.
2017 Women's National Invitational
The opening match of the 2017 invitational features No. 3 Lawrence Tech (Mich.) against No. 6 Tennessee Wesleyan Thursday at 10 a.m. EDT. This marks the first meeting for both teams this season.
SCAD Savannah (Ga.) enters the invitational as the favorite to claim the title. The top-ranked and top-seeded Bees received one of the four automatic berths by virtue of being the highest ranked Independent team. SCAD Savannah posted an 11-1 regular-season record with its only blemish coming at NCAA Division II Kutztown (Pa.), 17-9, on March 16.
Sydney Knego, a freshman from Sterling, Va., leads the attack for SCAD Savannah with 56 points on 45 goals and 11 assists this season.
SCAD Savannah opens invitational play Wednesday at 4 p.m. when it faces off against No. 8 Ottawa (Kan.).