KANSAS CITY, Mo. – [Opening Round Schedule Experience NAIA Championships App] The 2020 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round wrapped up day one of play as 19 teams advanced to the finals and 21 had their seasons come to an end.

Three matches went to extra time as Mid-America Christian (Okla.) advanced on PK’s. The Evangels tied Morningside (Iowa) at two before outscoring the Mustangs 4-2 in the PK to advance to the final game. In the Lawrenceville Bracket, Milligan (Tenn.) and Georgia Gwinnett needed extra time, but it was the Buffalos that came out on top with a goal to break the 2-2 tie. The third match that went into extra time was Indiana Tech who defeated Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), 2-1.

This year’s opening round field includes 27 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large. Automatic berths were given to teams that either won their respective conference tournament title, regular-season championship, finished runner-up at the conference tournament or were awarded the conference automatic berth in the absence of a conference tournament. The at-large bids were determined by the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Selection Committee. This committee consists of one representative from each geographical area, a representative from the National Administrative Council, the president of the NAIA-Men’s Soccer Coaches Association, and three at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria.

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Qualifier Highlights

  • Oklahoma Wesleyan led the day with a 2-0 win over Lincoln (Ill.). The Eagles’ two goals were scored by Julio Belo and Alfeu Bertini.
  • Briar Cliff (Iowa) held Southwestern Christian (Okla.) to a 3-0 defeat. All three goals were recorded in the second half of the match.
  • This is the 10th time Oklahoma Wesleyan has appeared in the Opening Rounds, while Briar Cliff (Iowa) has made history with its first Opening Round appearance.
  • Oklahoma Wesleyan and Briar Cliff (Iowa) will face off Saturday to determine who will advance to the final site from the Bartlesville Bracket.
  • In the first game of the Columbia Bracket, Columbia (Mo.) def. Sterling (Kan.) 4-0. All four goals occurred in the second half of the match after the 58th minute. Parker Moon recorded two assists in the first two goals.
  • Northwestern Ohio defeated Grace (Ind.) with a lone goal scored by Karim Jouini with an assist by Adam Hanson at the top of the 68th minute.
  • Columbia (Mo.) made a run for the championship game in 2019 before falling to Hastings (Neb.) in the semifinals.
  • Northwestern Ohio also competed at the final site in 2019 before falling to Central Methodist (Mo.) in the quarterfinals.
  • Columbia (Mo.) and Northwestern Ohio will face off Saturday to determine who will advance from the Columbia Bracket.
  • The Fort Wayne Bracket began the day with a 2-1 OT Indiana Tech win against Cardinal Stritch (Wis.). With 39 seconds left in OT with an assist by Noe Garcia, Ryan Steele seals the win for the Warriors. They will advance to the OR Championship match for the second straight season.
  • Indiana Tech saw its first OR appearances in 1981 and 1983 before not advancing again until 2009 and most recently in 2019.
  • Cumberlands (Ky.) recorded its first-ever postseason win against Bethel (Ind.). The Patriots recorded two goals in the first half before breaking away with four more in the second half to win 6-0.
  • Indiana Tech and Cumberlands (Ky.) will battle for a final site appearance Saturday to determine who will advance out of the Fort Wayne Bracket.
  • The first win of the day in the Hattiesburg Bracket was Lindsey Wilson who defeated West Virginia Tech, 2-0. The two goals occurred early with a score by Ezequiel Hernandez, assisted by Neville Morgan, at the top of the 20th minute, and an unassisted goal by Julien Gastaldy late in the 34th.
  • The Blue Raiders will face William Carey (Miss.) on Saturday who def. Missouri Baptist, 4-0. Three of William Carey’s goals were scored by Pablo Valera Vasquez Fraga. Clary Kengeye assisted two of Valera Vasquez Fraga’s three scores.
  • Lindsey Wilson holds a 55-16-6 record of All-Time Participation, with nine championship wins and five third-place finishes. The Blue Raiders saw its first tournament appearance in 1992 and its most recent appearance in 2019 where it fell to Central Methodist (Mo.) in the semifinals, 1-2.
  • Lindsey Wilson’s last championship win occurred in 2011.
  • William Carey (Miss.) holds a 17-15-4 record for All-Time Participation, with three third place and one-fourth-place championship finishes. The Crusaders saw its first tournament appearance in 1988 and its most recent in 2019 where No. 6- seeded William Carey fell to Hastings (Neb.), 0-1 in the quarterfinals.
  • St. Thomas (Fla.) started the Lawrenceville Bracket off strong with a 4-1 win over Dalton State (Ga.). Joaquin Domber scored the first goal for the Bobcats early in the first half. Alvaro Bode assisted the score late in the 12th minute, with a goal of his own late in the 63rd.
  • Milligan (Tenn.) defeated Georgia Gwinnett 3-2 in OT. The tie-breaking goal was scored by Odin Solheim early in OT.
  • St. Thomas (Fla.) has appeared four times in the OR competition, but have only advanced to the final site once in 2017.
  • Milligan (Tenn.) sees its second Opening Round appearance with its first in 2006.
  • St. Thomas (Fla.) and Milligan (Tenn.) will fight to advance out of the Lawrenceville Bracket on Saturday.
  • Missouri Valley defeated Rio Grande (Ohio) 2-1, with Kainan Dos Santos assisting the first goal scored by Miroslav Markovic and scoring one of his own in the 71st minute.
  • Due to a canceled COVID-19 no contest match between Spring Arbor (Mich.) and Hastings (Neb.), Hastings will play Missouri Valley on Saturday to determine who will advance to the final site out of the Marshall Bracket.
  • The two teams have faced off in the tournament two times. The first in 2010 where Hastings def. Missouri Valley 3-0, and the second in 2013 where Missouri Valley fell to Hastings 2-3 at the Final Site.
  • Hastings (Neb.) fell to Central Methodist (Mo.) 3-1 in the 2019 Championship Match.
  • In the McKenzie Bracket, Bethel (Tenn.) def. LSU-Alexandria, 2-1. All goals of the match were recorded in the second half with Brian Mbauni scoring in the 57th minute and assisting Alphonso Gooden in the 64th.
  • Mid-America Christian (Okla.) def. Morningside (Iowa) in double OT which resulted in a shootout. The two teams entered the first OT 2-2, Mid-America Christian won the shootout 4/5 over Morningside, 2/4.
  • Mid-America Christian will advance in the OR for the first time, while Bethel (Tenn.) has participated eight times in postseason play.
  • Bellevue (Neb.) defeated McPherson (Kan.) 2-0 in the first game of the day in the Olathe Bracket. The two Bellevue goals occurred in the second half with both scores recorded after the 60th minute.
  • The second win of the day went to MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) who def. Rocky Mountain (Mont.), 5-1. Two of the five goals were scored by Vitus Voitl, while Nicolas Theberge recorded one goal and two assists.
  • Bellevue (Neb.) has not seen postseason play since 2018, while MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) had its last appearance in 2015 where it fell to Rio Grande (Ohio) in the Championship Match.
  • Bellevue (Neb.) and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) will face off to determine who advances to the final site from the Olathe Bracket.
  • The Santa Barbara Bracket will be determined by the winner of Corban (Ore.) and Central Methodist (Mo.) on Saturday.
  • Corban (Ore.) def. Westmont (Calif.), 2-1. Corban has participated in open-round play seven times, with only one advancement in 2016 to the final site.
  • Central Methodist (Mo.) def. UC Merced (Calif.), 2-0 with both goals occurring unassisted in the second half of the match. The two goals given up by UC Merced are the only two goals they have allowed this season.
  • Central Methodist (Mo.) has won the Red Banner the last two years- def. Missouri Valley 4-3 in 2018 and def. Hastings (Neb.) 3-1 in 2019.
  • In the West Palm Bracket, Keiser (Fla.) def. William Penn (Iowa), 4-0. Keiser has appeared in the tournament six times seeing the final site three.
  • Keiser will face Mobile (Ala.) who def. Reinhardt (Ga.), 5-0. All five of Mobile’s goals occurred in the second half of the match after the 50th minute.