KANSAS CITY, Mo-- The University of Mobile men's soccer team will host Texas Wesleyan in a NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round game Saturday at a time to be determined. (Bracket)
There are 16 Opening Round matches taking place Nov. 17, and those winners will advance to the 54th annual national championship final site held at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Ala., Nov. 26 - Dec 1.
The 32 teams are comprised of 24 automatic qualifiers awarded to conference/independent/unaffiliated group tournament and regular season champions and eight at-large teams, selected by the final NAIA Men's Soccer MRPI.
Mobile (14-4-1) earned a spot in the field as the Southern States Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions, while Texas Wesleyan (9-7-2) qualified as the Red River Athletic Tournament Runner-Up. Mobile is making its 16th trip to nationals and 6th-straight with a tournament record of 21-14-2 and one National Championship. The Rams of Texas Wesleyan are making their first trip to the elite field.
Mobile is the 11th seed in the tournament, and the winner of Mobile-Texas Wesleyan will face the Cardinal Stritch-Columbia winner Tuesday at 1:30 pm at the final site.
Texas Wesleyan is 2-2 in its last four games and 6-2 over the last eight. They have scored 19 goals and allowed six in the last eight games. As a team, the Rams have scored 36 goals and allowed 23. Ivan Kovacevic leads with 9 goals and 9 assists, while TJ Romaguera has 6 goals and 5 assists. Dejan Milosevic has worked every game in goal, with a 9-3-2 record and 5 shutouts.
UMobile had a nine-game winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss to Southern Poly in the SSAC Tournament Semifinals. The Rams were 7-1 over the last eight games, outscoring opponents 24-5. Gaetan Massiah leads with 12 goals and 11 assists for 35 points, while Alvaro Pichardo has 12 goals and Naissim Ayadi has 11 goals and 5 assists. Xavier Audergon has an 11-2-1 record with 4 shutouts in goal for Mobile.
Mobile is 1-1 in Opening Round games, beating UT-Brownsville in 2008 and falling at Embry-Riddle in 2009.
The SSAC leads everyone with Auburn-Montgomery, Belhaven and Southern Poly joining Mobile in the field.