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LWC Women's Soccer to face Briar Cliff

By Christopher Coombs

The Lindsey Wilson women's soccer team will take on Briar Cliff (IA) in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round on Thursday, according to the national qualifiers and opening-round pairings released by the national office on Monday.

The 40-team NAIA Opening Round event at 10 campus locations will occur from April 15-17.

The Blue Raiders were picked as the No. 2-seed in the Spring Arbor Bracket. Briar Cliff received the No. 3-seed as Spring Arbor (MI) and Northwestern Ohio fill out the top of the bracket as the No. 1 and No. 4-seeds, respectively.

Winners of each contest will advance to the opening round championship game scheduled for April 17. Times for all of the contests will be released later this week. All games will the played in Spring Arbor, Michigan on the campus of Spring Arbor University.

The 2020-21 NAIA Opening Round winners will meet up in Foley, Ala., at the NAIA National Championship final site event. The 37th annual championship takes place at the Foley Sports Tourism Championship Field April 27 - May 3, 2021.

This year's opening round field includes 27 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large selections. 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 was selected by their conference in absence of a conference tournament.

The at-large bids were determined by the NAIA Women'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-Women's Soccer Coaches Association, and three at-large members. The committee evaluated teams throughout the year on various criteria.

Lindsey Wilson is making its 22nd all-time appearance at the national tournament after receiving an at-large bid into the field. LWC has won four national championships, doing so in 2004, 2006, 2012, and 2014 and owns a 44-17-3 record.

Spring Arbor (11-2-1) qualified for the national tournament as an at-large selection from the Crossroads League. They are making their 12th appearance in the tournament. Briar Cliff (12-2-2) is making their first-ever appearance after winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season crown. Northwest Ohio (8-3-0) is making its 7th appearance after receiving an at-large bid.

A full preview of the opening round will be available later this week on

This story was posted on 2021-04-12 13:08:54
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