2015 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Qualifiers & Opening Round Schedule Announced

Thirty-two teams square off at 16 different locations Nov. 21

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (Championship Schedule | Video Announcement | Bracket) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has officially announced the teams and Opening Round pairings for the 2015 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship. The 32-team event will get underway with 16 National Championship Opening Round matches at campus locations on Nov. 21.

The Opening Round winners will advance to the national championship final site in Delray Beach, Fla. Action at the Seacrest Soccer Complex runs Nov. 30 – Dec. 5.

This year's field includes 24 automatic qualifiers and eight at-large selections. Automatic berths were given to teams that either won their respective conference tournament title, regular-season championship or finished runner-up during the regular season or at the conference tournament. The at-large bids were determined by the final Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) announced Monday. The MRPI can be found HERE.

The NAIA Network – the association's official video streaming home – will broadcast all 15 matches live at the 2015 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship final site in Delray Beach, Fla. 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-championship package is available at $29.95. For more information and the pre-register, click here.
Qualifier Highlights

  • No. 1 seed Rio Grande (Ohio), who is 23-11-2 all-time in the postseason, is looking to become the first top seed in the national championship to hoist the trophy since No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in 2009. Since 2000, only three top seeds have won the title.
  • Four qualifiers bring with them a previous national championship title: Bethel (Tenn.) (1), Davenport (Mich.) (1), Lindsey Wilson (9) and Rio Grande (1).
  • Defending national champion Davenport is searching to become the first repeat titlist since Lindsey Wilson did so in 2000-01. The Panthers are making their fourth overall championship, third-straight, and carry a 4-2-1 record at the event.
  • The Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson boast some lofty championship records, including most postseason wins (51), most consecutive appearances (22), tied for the most appearances (23) and second in national championship trophies (9). Lindsey Wilson trails former member Quincy (Ill.) with 11 national championships.
  • Rio Grande, a team holding the No. 1 position in all eight regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Polls, will be competing in its 15th overall and consecutive national championship. With a 23-11-2 playoff record, the RedStorm are tied for eighth in the record books for most championship wins.
  • Biola (Calif.), Great Falls (Mont.) and Mount Mercy (Iowa) are snapping a four-year drought – the longest amongst any team with a previous trip. Biola and Mount Mercy are both seeking their first playoff victory.
  • There are 10 newcomers that will compete in the opening round: Campbellsville (Ky.), Concordia (Neb.), Cumberland (Tenn.), Lyon (Ark.), Purdue Calumet (Ind.), Roosevelt (Ill.), Southeastern (Fla.), Union (Ky.), Wiley (Texas) and WVU Tech (W.Va.).
  • Seventeen teams from the 2014 opening round are back in this year's event.
  • Four conferences – American Midwest Conference, Cascade Collegiate Conference, Heart of America Athletic Conference and the Mid-South Conference – land the most representatives in the 32-team field with three programs each.
  • Lindsey Wilson and Rio Grande are the only teams in NAIA postseason history to serve as Opening Round host all seven years, since the format began in 2008. This year will mark the eighth overall time both clubs host on Nov. 21.
  • Rio Grande is a perfect 7-0-0 in Opening Round matches, while Lindsey Wilson has strung together a 5-1-1 mark.
  • Cumberland (Tenn.), Oklahoma Wesleyan and Science & Arts (Okla.) all claim the NAIA lead in season wins with 19. Conversely, Wiley (Texas) has the fewest victories (8), as the Wildcats won the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament championship.

Opening Round Schedule 

Saturday, Nov. 21 | Campus Sites

Match 1 – Bethel (Tenn.) (16-1-4) at No. 1 Rio Grande (Ohio) (18-1)
Match 2 – Lyon (Ark.) (13-3-1) at No. 16 Union (Ky.) (16-1-4)
Match 3 – Southeastern (Fla.) (15-4) at No. 9 Cumberland (Tenn.) (19-1)
Match 4 – Indiana Wesleyan (15-5) at No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (14-5-1)
Match 5 – Concordia (Neb.) (11-6-3) at No. 5 Oklahoma Wesleyan (19-1)
Match 6 – Marymount California (15-3-1) at No. 12 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (16-2-2)
Match 7 – Biola (Calif.) (14-4-1) at No. 13 Corban (Ore.) (17-2-1)
Match 8 – Mount Mercy (Iowa) (15-4-1) at No. 4 Missouri Valley (17-2-1)
Match 9 – Purdue Calumet (Ind.) (12-4-2) at No. 2 Davenport (Mich.) (15-2-2)
Match 10 – WVU Tech (W.Va.) (15-2) at No. 15 Campbellsville (Ky.) (17-3)
Match 11 – Roosevelt (Ill.) (16-3-2) at No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (14-5-1)
Match 12 – Great Falls (Mont.) (13-5-1) at No. 7 Vanguard (Calif.) (15-4)
Match 13 – Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) (14-7) at No. 6 Northwestern Ohio (16-4)
Match 14 – Bellevue (Neb.) (11-3-4) at No. 11 Science & Arts (Okla.) (19-2)
Match 15 – Ashford (Iowa) (11-5-2) at No. 14 Columbia (Mo.) (17-3)
Match 16 – Wiley (Texas) (8-5-1) at No. 3 Baker (Kan.) (17-3-1)

For more information on the 2015 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round and final site, click here.


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