NAIA Sweet 16 Preview
In the most anticipated match up of the Sweet 16, nationally ranked #5 Bethel University and #6 Southern Polytechnic State University will face off at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, November 29th. The 15 Opening Round winners and the University of Mobile (hots school) will all travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama for the next stage in the NAIA National Championships.
Southern Poly is 16-2-2 on the season and the 2011 SSAC Tournament Champions. In the Opening Round of the National Tournament, Southern Poly hosted Menlo College from California. Menlo came into the game with a 13-3-1 record and the 2011 CalPac Tournament Champions. Southern Poly put on a one sided affair as they out shot the Oaks 32-2 during the match. Having played a man down for almost 60 minutes when Senior Diego Nicholson was shown a second yellow didn't slow them down, but still needed a golden goal with just under 3 minutes left in the second OT from Senior Jumol Harewood to advance. This is Southern Poly's third consecutive Sweet 16 in the program's short five year history.
Bethel comes into the match with a 14-2-2 overall record and winners of the 2011 TransSouth regular season and tournament titles. Bethel hosted Montrat College in the Opening Round and easily handled them with a 6-1 final score. This is Bethel's fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance and fifth overall.
Southern Poly and Bethel have met twice in the five years and Bethel has a 1-0-1 lead in the series. Bethel won the first match 1-0 in 2008 while they played to a 0-0 draw in 2010.