PREVIEW: 2018 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship

PREVIEW: 2018 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship

By Pete Scantlebury, NAIA Manager of Athletics Communication


IRVINE, Calif. – [Schedule | Game Program | Media GuideThe 60th NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship begins Monday, Nov. 26 with fourth-seeded Rio Grande facing 13th-seeded Southern Oregon at 1 p.m. CT (11 a.m. PT) at OC Great Park Soccer Stadium. That kicks-off eight games over the first two days of competition, with the quarterfinals taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

The semifinal games are on Friday, Nov. 29, with a champion being crowned after the final game on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. CT (6 p.m. PT).

RELATED: 2018 NAIA Men’s National Championship Bracket | Opening Round presented by Select Soccer Recap

The NAIA Network – the association’s official video-streaming home – will broadcast all final-site matches live in Irvine, Calif. 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 $9.95 while an all-tournament package is available for $29.95

Fans can maximize their value, however, with an All-Championship Pass for $100. The pass allows fans to watch every NAIA National Championship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

2018 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Final Site Matchups – Round of 16

Time (CT/PT) Date Home Team Record Away Team Record
1 p.m./11 a.m. Nov. 26 No. 4 Rio Grande (Ohio) 19-0-0 No. 13 Southern Oregon 17-2-3
3:30 p.m./1:30 p.m. Nov. 26 No. 5 Missouri Valley 15-3-3 No. 12 Spring Arbor (Mich.) 17-4-1
6 p.m./4 p.m. Nov. 26 No. 8 Baker (Kan.) 16-5-0 No. 9 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 19-2-0
8:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. Nov. 26 No. 1 William Carey (Miss.) 18-0-1 No. 16 Georgia Gwinnett 12-5-1
1 p.m./11 a.m. Nov. 27 No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan 19-3-0 No. 15 Corban (Ore.) 15-3-1
3:30 p.m./1:30 p.m. Nov. 27 No. 10 Bellevue (Neb.) 18-1-2 Madonna (Mich.) 17-4-0
6 p.m./4 p.m. Nov. 27 No. 3 Central Methodist (Mo.) 18-2-2 Mid-America Christian (Okla.) 13-5-1
8:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. Nov. 27 No. 11 Vanguard (Calif.) 12-4-2 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 17-4-1

2018 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Final Site Notes – Second Round

  • One team advanced to the final site with previous national titles. Fourth-seeded – and undefeated – Rio Grande has two national titles in program history, with the most recent coming in 2015. The Redstorm beat MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 1-0 in overtime in the 2015 championship game for their second national title.
  • Hope you like goals – three of the NAIA top-10 leaders in goals scored will appear at the final site. Oklahoma Wesleyan forward Stefan Cvetanovic has 27 goals this season, second nationally, and he scored two goals and added an assist in the Eagles’ opening-round win over Morningside (Iowa). Madonna forward Yuri Farkas Guglielmi (23 goals) is tied for fourth nationally, and Rio Grande forward Nicolas Cam Orellana (21 goals) is tied for eighth.
  • The Rio Grande-Southern Oregon second-round matchup is particular intriguing. The Redstorm lead the NAIA in goals scored per game this season with 5.58, over one goal more than second-place Oklahoma Wesleyan. Southern Oregon, meanwhile ranks second in the NAIA in goals allowed per game with 0.41, including 15 shutouts in 22 matches.
  • Who is Southern Oregon second to in goals allowed? That would be Rio Grande, of course.
  • In addition to Rio Grande and Southern Oregon, many of the best defenses in the nation are represented in Irvine. Nine of the top 15 teams in goals allowed advanced to the final site: Rio Grande, Southern Oregon, Central Methodist, Rocky Mountain, Bellevue, Spring Arbor, Corban, William Carey and Madonna.
  • On the flip-side, only five of the top 15 scoring teams made it to Irvine: Rio Grande, Oklahoma Wesleyan, Central Methodist, William Carey and Bellevue. Each of those five teams, however, rank in the top-15 defensively, as well. You know the old saying – defense wins championships.
  • Two teams making their first NAIA men’s soccer postseason appearance advanced to the final site: Central Methodist and Mid-America Christian.
  • The Central Methodist Eagles have had a particularly magical season. In addition to making their first postseason appearance, the Eagles achieved their highest regular-season ranking (No. 3) in program history, and are the third-seeded team in the postseason bracket.
  • Rio Grande has the most postseason appearances at the final site with 18. William Carey is second with 12 and Baker is third with 11.

(Photo courtesy Al Case/Ashland Daily Photo)

Championship Information

NAIA Men's Soccer Championship

Nov. 22-23, 2019 Opening Round – 
Campus Sites

Dec. 2 - Dec. 7, 2019
OC Great Park Soccer Stadium, 
Irvine, Calif.