Day 2: NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (Bracket) Drama was the theme in second round action in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. One match ended in double-overtime fashion and the other three finished with a 2-1 score.

Box Score – No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) def. No. 5 Science & Arts (Okla.), 2-1
Box Score – No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) def. No. 6 Columbia (Mo.), 2-1
Box Score – No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.) def. Hastings (Neb.), 2-1
Box Score – No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) tied Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), 0-0 (2 OT) (MNU advances on PKs, 4-3)

The event is played at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex and co-hosted by the Central Alabama Sports Commission and the Southern States Athletic Conference. The quarterfinal round will play out tomorrow starting at 11 a.m. CST.

Giovanni Correa’s game-winner in the 78th minute was the difference as No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) took down fifth-seeded Science & Arts (Okla.), 2-1, in the first match of the day (top right photo courtesy That goal was Correa’s first of the year. There were quick strikes by both squads with David Major sounding the horn in the eighth minute to give Belhaven a 1-0 lead. Thirteen minutes later, Stephen Owusu tied the score for the Drovers at 1-1. But, Correa’s strike ended up be the difference-maker.

No. 11 Mobile (Ala.) used two goals in a span of 1:15 in the second half to down No. 6 Columbia (Mo.), 2-1. Sam Blackburn and Pierre Mangold teamed up to hand the Rams a 2-0 lead heading into the 70th minute. Marko Paunovic brought life to the Cougars with his team-leading 14th goal of the year in the 81st minute. However, the Rams held and will advance to their third Quarterfinal in the last five years.

No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.) got some key second-half saves by Dennis Kramer to preserve a 2-1 victory over Hastings (Neb.). The senior notched his 16th win of the year with six stops. The Hornets held a 2-0 edge heading into the locker room courtesy of goals from Juan Henao and Adis Islamovic. Jake Essi made things interesting in the 73rd minute with a one-timer that brought Hastings deficit to 2-1. But, the Southern Poly defense locked down to record its 18th game this year of allowing one or fewer goals.

In the nightcap, No. 7 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) played to a scoreless draw after two overtimes. Alvaro Beltran was the hero for the Pioneers in the penalty kick session. His shot produced a 4-3 edge in penalty kicks and MidAmerica Nazarene is heading to its first-ever Quarterfinal. Both goalkeepers performed well, but Olivet Nazarene keeper Zach Chambers was exceptional on the stat sheet. His 11 saves is the first time a championship keeper has stopped 10-or-more since 2006.

NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of 12 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all matches of the 2012 Men’s Soccer National Championship final site in Montgomery, Ala. Single day packages can be purchased for $9.95, while an all-tournament pass is available for $29.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.

For more information, click here.

Second Round Championship Notes (through second day):
• Heading into the round of eight tomorrow, both MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) will be making their first Quarterfinal appearance.
• All four teams from the Southern States Athletic Conference that advanced to Montgomery are still alive for the Quarterfinals: No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.), No. 11 Mobile (Ala.), No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.).
• Three quarterfinalists have won at least one national title: Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Belhaven (Miss.) and Mobile (Ala.).
• There have been two double-overtime matches in the Second Round which brings the 2012 total to five in this year’s National Championship.
• With the loss today against Mobile (Ala.), Columbia (Mo.) has never made it past the Second Round in four overall championship appearances.
• Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) picked up its first championship win all-time on Nov. 17 in the National Championship Opening Round.
• The Trojans keep alive a streak of unseeded teams winning in the Second Round. Since the format began with Opening Rounds in 2008, there has been at least one unseeded squad to pull off the upset.
• After the 4-0 win over Ashford (Iowa) on Monday, Concordia (Calif.) tied a school record with its 19th season win – the record ties the 2007 team that took a runner-up finish in the National Championship.
• Concordia (Calif.), the No. 3 seed, became the fourth-consecutive such seed to win its Second Round game.
• Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) is now on a seven-match winning streak in the National Championship with the last loss coming in the 2010 Opening Round. Overall, the Blue Raiders are 12-1 in their last 13 matches played in the postseason.