Phoenix hosting Madonna for NAIA Opening Round
Monday, November 13, 2017
Phoenix hosting Madonna for NAIA Opening Round

LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland men’s soccer earned a home match and will face Madonna University in the NAIA Championship Opening Round, as announced Monday by the national office.

The Phoenix earned an automatic berth into the NAIA national tournament with a 2-1 double overtime victory over sixth-ranked Lindsey Wilson in the finals of the Mid-South Conference Championships on Saturday.

Despite playing a man down because of a second yellow card on a defender in the 73th minute, Markus Skraastad equalized in the 82nd minute and Daniel Williams netted the game-winner in the 104th minute, giving CU its second conference tournament title in three years and its second trip to the national tourney in school history.

Cumberland hosted 18th-ranked Southeastern University in the NAIA Championship Opening Round in 2015, dropping a 1-0 decision in double overtime to the Fire in the program’s only other trip to the national tournament.

The Phoenix lead the nation with 12 shutouts and Williams ranks No. 1 in the country with eight game-winning goals as well as 10th nationally with 18 goals. Junior goalkeeper Bennet Strutz is 12th with a 0.75 goals-against-average.

Madonna enters the match 15-3-1 overall this season and winners of the regular season championship in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The Crusaders have recorded nine shutouts and Yuri Farkas is also 10th in the country with 18 goals. Madonna lost in the semifinals of the WHAC Championships to Northwestern Ohio but received an automatic berth into the national tournament by winning the regular season in the league.