HU to face Central Methodist on Saturday

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The HU men’s soccer team will travel to Columbia, Mo. this weekend to compete in the 2018 Men’s Soccer NAIA National Championship Opening Round. The Foresters will face 3rd-ranked Central Methodist University at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 17.

Huntington enters the opening round with a record of 11-7-3 after clinching an automatic bid as the Crossroads League tournament champions. This is the fourth time the Foresters have advanced to an NAIA postseason tournament with 1989 marking the last time.

Central Methodist earned a spot in the national tourney as the Heart of America regular season champs. The Eagles boast an overall record of 17-2-2. They faced two Crossroads League opponents this fall having tied Bethel 0-0 and beaten Goshen 3-1.

For both squads, this is their first NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round appearance since this particular format begin in 2008.

Saturday’s match will be live-streamed. HU’s FDN will be streaming the match through YouTube at youtube.com/user/HuntingtonUniversity/playlists. Central Methodist will also offer video coverage of the game at portal.stretchinternet.com/cmueagles/.

The 31-team event will begin with 15 National Championship Opening Round matches at campus sites. Vanguard (Calif.) is the 31st team in the field and receives an NAIA Opening Round bye due to earning the host berth of the NAIA National Championship Final Site in Irvine, Calif.

The 15 NAIA Opening Round winners will join Vanguard in Irvine for NAIA National Championship Final Site play, beginning on November 26 with the quarterfinals. The 16-team single-elimination event runs from Nov. 26 – Dec. 1 at the Orange County Great Park Soccer Stadium.

The 2018 Opening Round field includes 26 automatic qualifiers and four at-large selections. 11th-ranked Spring Arbor University will also represent the Crossroads League as one of the four schools that received an at-large bid.