BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The most exciting time of the year has arrived for fall sports teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Nine MIAC squads competed in the NCAA Division III soccer and volleyball tournaments over the weekend, while six more will join them in postseason play following Cross Country Regionals and the conclusion of the football regular season on Saturday.
JOHNNIES, ROYALS PUNCH TICKETS TO FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
The MIAC will have two teams in the 2018 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs, with conference-champion Saint John's hosting Martin Luther - champions of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) - and league runner-up Bethel welcoming Wartburg - who won the American Rivers Conference - on Saturday. The undefeated Johnnies are ranked No. 3 in the latest D3football.com Poll and will be making their fifth straight trip to Playoffs, while the Royals are ranked No. 11 after a postseason-clinching victory against rival St. Thomas - now ranked No. 16 in the country - over the weekend. Both NCAA Playoff games are set to kickoff at noon on Saturday, November 17.
| Football Bracket |
KNIGHTS ROLL AT CROSS COUNTRY REGIONALS; OLES, TOMMIES EARN AT-LARGE BERTHS
After sweeping the MIAC Cross Country Championships for the second straight year, Carleton kept its momentum going through Regionals on Saturday. Carleton's women's team ran away with the team title, totaling 64 points, thanks in large part to sophomores Emma Greenlee (Aurora, Minn. | Mesabi East) and Amanda Mosborg (Edina, Minn.), who crossed the finish line in third- and sixth-places, respectively. The Carleton men placed second as a team to earn an automatic berth at next week's national championships. Senior Tris Dodge (Oakland, Calif. | College Prep) and sophomore Lucas Mueller (St. Paul, Minn. | Nova Classical Academy) finished 1-2 in a field of 210 runners to pace the Knights.
In addition to Carleton, the men's teams from St. Olaf and St. Thomas earned at-large berths to the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The MIAC will also send six student-athletes to nationals as "individual" competitors based on their finishes at regionals. The first seven student-athletes from each region who are not a part of a qualifying team are selected to participate in each championship. Gustavus sophomore Andrew Stumbo (Boone, Iowa | Ogden) will compete in the men's race after placing eighth at regionals, while Saint Benedict's Abby Goff (Spokane, Wash. | Lewis & Clark) and Morgan Pierce (Mandan, N.D. | Saint Mary's Central) - who finished seventh and eighth, respectively - will be joined by 10th place finisher Lisa Fisher (St. Paul, Minn. | Henry Sibley) of St. Olaf, 11th place finisher Malakai Holloway (Carver, Minn. | Eden Prairie) of Bethel, and 14th place finisher Bryony Hawgood (Harare, Zimbabwe | Arundel) of St. Olaf in the women's race.
The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will host the 2018 Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 17 at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis. The women's race will begin at 11:15 a.m., followed by the men's race at 12:15 p.m.
TOMMIES HEADED TO THIRD STRAIGHT SWEET 16 AFTER MIAC LANDS FOUR IN MEN'S SOCCER TOURNEY
A whopping four MIAC teams earned berths in the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Playoffs. After being selected to serve as one of the regional hosts for the weekend, St. Thomas rattled off two Tournament victories to secure a third straight berth in the Sweet 16. MIAC Playoff champion Carleton defeated Transylvania in the opening round of play and held a 1-0 lead over No. 3-ranked Chicago before a pair of goals late in the second half ended the Knights' nearly two-month unbeaten stretch on Sunday night. Augsburg and regular season MIAC champ Gustavus both fell in tight games on Saturday afternoon. The Tommies will take on Luther in Chicago, Ill. at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17.
UST RECORD-SETTING WOMEN'S SOCCER SEASON ENDS IN NCAA SECOND ROUND
After setting a program record for wins and earning its first-ever MIAC Playoff title, the University of St. Thomas clinched its third straight berth in the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. A 1-0 victory over Knox College in the opening match on Saturday sent the Toms to the round of 32 for the second year in a row, where St. Thomas tied host Wis.-La Crosse, 2-2, before falling to the Eagles on penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon.
BENNIES REACH SWEET 16 AS FOUR MIAC TEAMS COMPETE IN VOLLEYBALL REGIONAL
One-third of the MIAC qualified for the NCAA Tournament this year, with conference champion Gustavus serving as host for the eight-team regional over the weekend. Saint Benedict won a pair of matches to advance to its first Sweet 16 since 2012 before falling to nationally-ranked Wis.-Eau Claire in the regional championship, 3-1, on Sunday. Augsburg, St. Thomas, and Gustavus each finished their seasons in the opening round on Friday. CSB sophomore sisters Madison Weiss (Shakopee, Minn.) and Hunter Weiss (Shakopee, Minn.) both earned spots on the All-Tournament Team for their play at regionals.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can use the NCAA's interactive brackets to track the progress of each tournament and can also follow the action on the MIAC scoreboard or the MIAC mobile app, which is a free download on both the iTunes and Google Play stores. The MIAC scoreboard and app will include links to follow each game live, as well as scores, stats, recaps, photos, and more.