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KWU Draws MNU in Men’s Soccer Opening Round

KSAL Sports - November 19, 2013 5:55 am

Kansas Wesleyan will head to Olathe, Kan., to face the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round on Saturday at Pioneer Field. Start time for the match has been set for 1 p.m.

Kansas Wesleyan (13-4-2) was the regular season and tournament champion in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and is making its fifth straight appearance in the Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.

MidAmerica Nazarene (14-4-2) received the eighth At-Large berth from the NAIA after losing to Baker 1-0 in the Heart of America Conference Championship. MNU was the regular season champion in the HAAC.

The teams have met once already this season on September 18 in Salina with the Pioneers coming away with a 1-0 win. Jonathan Babcock scored the game winner in the 23rd minute for MNU who then held on for the win.

Wesleyan is 0-4 all-time in the series with MidAmerica Nazarene.

Wesleyan is led by Salvador Rosales with eight goals on the season, including one in Saturday’s KCAC Championship, a 2-0 win over Tabor at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka. Three different Coyotes lead the team with four assists. Blessing Ngwa and Alex Montiel split time in goal for the Coyotes. Ngwa has nearly 952 minutes between the pipes with an 8-1-1 record and five shutouts. Montiel has almost 792 minutes in goal with a 5-3-1 record and three shutouts. The Coyotes are outscoring their opponents 34-14 on the season.

MidAmerica Nazarene was the No. 1 seed in the HAAC Tournament and was edged by Baker 1-0 in the Tournament Championship in Olathe. MNU had a 5-1-1 record in HAAC playe and a 14-4-2 record overall during the season. The Pioneers have a balanced scoring attack led by Eddie Morales with seven goals. Matias Fernandez leads the Pioneers with eight assists. Chris Eriksson is MNU’s keeper with over 1800 minutes in goal with 16 goals allowed and a .770 goals against average on the season.

The winner of Saturday’s Opening Round will advance to the 55th Annual NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex in Montgomery, Ala. They will face the winner of the St. Thomas (Texas) at No. 8 Belhaven Opening Round matchup on December 2 or 3.