The men’s soccer team at Rocky Mountain College will be playing at No. 14-ranked Hastings College of Nebraska on Saturday during the opening round of the 32-team NAIA national championships.
Coach Richard Duffy’s unranked Battlin’ Bears are 14-3-1 overall and were one of 23 automatic qualifiers for nationals after winning their Unaffiliated Conference Group Tournament two weeks ago in Billings.
Hastings, 18-3-0, was ranked No. 5 nationally, but was beaten by No. 25 Midlands University, Neb., 1-0 in last weekend’s finals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament. The Broncos received an at-large berth to nationals.
The Rocky-Hastings match is scheduled for 4 p.m. (Mountain) at Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings.
Saturday’s 16 winners will move on to the national championship tournament set for Dec. 2-7 in Montgomery, Ala.
This will be Rocky’s second consecutive trip to nationals -- and the Bears are 0-1 in games played. Hastings has advanced 10 times since 2001, compiling a 16-6-3 mark.
The Broncos won the 2010 NAIA national championship and were the national runner-up in 2011.