Courtesy: Tony Schock
Courtesy: Tony Schock

Day One Recap of 2023 NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship

WICHITA, Kan. - [FINAL SITE SCHEDULE | BRACKET] The 65th Annual NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship began Monday, November 27th with Day One of Round of 16 play at Scheel's Stryker Soccer Complex. During the four games today, lower seeds Bellevue (Neb.) and Milligan (Tenn.) once again pulled upsets while favorites Dalton State (Ga.) and St. Thomas (Fla.) also moved on to Thursday's quarterfinal round. 



Bellevue (Neb.) (14-5-4) defeats No. 16 Indiana Wesleyan (13-4-4), 2-0

  • The first half ended in a 0-0 tie as the teams were very close statistically - Bellevue held a 8-6 edge in shots, 3-2 in saves, and 3-2 in corner kicks
  • The Bruins wasted little time in the second half, as Kevin Becerril netted the game winner off the assist by Gabriel Dias Juliani just 82 seconds into the period
  • Bellevue was looking to add to their count inside 10 minutes remaining, but IWU keeper Aaron Carr made a spectacular, point blank save
  • BU got the 2-0 margin after all as Dias Juliani took advantage of a misplayed ball inside the 6-yard box to punch the ball into the back of the net
  • Overall, the Bruins outshot the Wildcats 15-11 and tallied an 8-2 difference in corner kicks taken
  • Caedmon Schwanke and Becerril both took three shots as the Bruins placed seven total on frame; Indiana Wesleyan was led by a trio of attempts by Jose Garcia while Cole Little and Giuseppe Santacroce each put a pair on goal
  • Carr was issued just his second loss of the year (10-2-1) while Taariq Gange moves to 13-5-4 with his five save clean sheet


Milligan (Tenn.) (17-2-4) ties No. 8 Mobile (Ala.) (15-2-3), 1-1 (20T) advances 4-2 in shootout

  • The Rams were playing back at the Final Site after finishing as the NAIA National Championship Runners-up in both 2021 and 2022
  • Mobile had a good chance off the set piece from 45 yards out; As the ball was flicked into the box, Zacharia Hasler took the short range attempt but was stopped by Milligan keeper
  • On the counter, the Buffs were able to take advantage of the secondary break and Santiago Corral sunk the game's first goal; with the ball playing into the box form the right wing, the Milligan forward kept the defender at bay and rocketed it in off his right foot to the far post
  • Hasler had been hunting for a goal all day and finally got the equalizer on the far post volley from the top of the 18-yard box just 38 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1
  • After 90 minutes of play and in just the second match of the Final Site, the Buffaloes and Rams headed into the two 10-minute overtime periods
  • After both overtimes went scoreless, the squads headed into a penalty shootout to decide a victor – the first since 2021 when Mobile bested Indiana Tech 0-0 (2OT) 4-3 in PK's
  • In the shootout, Milligan went first and took a 1-0 edge by Simen Haraldstad before Adria Alles made a key stop of Mobile
  • After Kai Slinn put the Buffs up 4-2, Alles' blocked attempt of UM's Samuel Mutiri sent them through to the quarterfinals
  • For the 110 minutes of field play, Mobile outshot the opposition 21-5 but hard-nosed defending and eight saves from Alles was the difference


No. 4 Dalton State (Ga.) (14-2-3) defeats No. 13 William Penn (Iowa) (12-5-4), 1-0

  • After the first half, the teams were nearly deadlocked with two shots each, two corner kicks, and only one total save needing to be recorded
  • Dalton State had their first solid chance in the 87th minute as they drew a foul on the outside edge of the 18-yard box
  • The game seemed destined to head to overtime scoreless at 0-0
  • With 20 seconds left, Mason Dalton sent the Roadrunners to the quarterfinals, capitalizing on a lucky bounce of the ball off the WPU defense
  • For the game, DSU held a 11-7 edge in shots, with four of them coming in the last 10 minutes of play
  • Michael Barrueta moves to 10-1-1 on the year with his three saves while Sean Bohan falls to 12-5-4 for the Statesmen; the most important save of all was the stopped penalty kick in the 54th minute


No. 5 St. Thomas (Fla.) (18-1-2) defeats No. 12 Missouri Valley (14-6-0), 4-1

  • Despite Missouri Valley generating four of the first six shots taken in the game, it was St. Thomas who got on the scoreboard first
  • A Viking foul inside the box resulted in a STU penalty kick which Guido Cacciabue coolly sank in the back of the net
  • With 45 minutes of play in the books, the Bobcats held a narrow 8-7 edge in shots taken while MVC led 3-2 in shots on goal; Both teams had eight fouls called against them, but Missouri Valley had a 4-1 difference in corner kicks taken
  • Opening the second half, the Vikings played well as a unit, but Cacciabue had other ideas; Joaquin Domber was working on the right side of the field and split the defenders before he dropped the ball off to the waiting right foot of Cacciabue 12-yards out
  • Cacciabue had a decent shot at a hat-trick in the 71st minute, but his free kick attempt 25-yards away went just high of the crossbar
  • As MVC was forced to play higher to try and close the gap, they surrendered additional goals
  • Alvaro Bode put the Bobcats up 3-0 before it took just 30 second more for Osahae Oghogho to net the fourth STU score of the match
  • With 7:41 showing on the clock, the Vikings got on the scoreboard, as Sam Green capitalized on a St. Thomas foul inside the box
  • Despite the large difference on the scoreboard, the statistical margin was close between both sides; MVC outshot the opponent 18-5 while St. Thomas posted a 4-2 difference in saves

Championship Information

men's soccer


Nov. 27 - Dec. 4, 2023
Scheels Stryker Sports Complex
Wichita, Kansas

First & Second Round
Nov. 16 - 18, 2023
Campus Sites