The road to Matthews, North Carolina and the 2023 DII men’s soccer championship match begins Thursday, Nov. 16. Forty teams around the nation will kick off with national championship aspirations, but only four will make it to the Sportsplex at Matthews to play for it all.
Before the action begins, let’s take a look at a few things to keep an eye on in regional play.
3 storylines for the 2023 DII men’s soccer championship
Who wins Super Region One?
A fan that is new to DII men’s soccer may not understand the importance of this question, but it looms large. The last six — and seven of the last eight — DII men’s soccer national championship matches have featured a team from Super Region One and all three of those teams — Franklin Pierce, Charleston (WV), and West Chester — are back in the mix. The Ravens, of course, haven’t lost a match in two seasons and come in as the defending champs looking for their third title. The Golden Eagles are arguably the single most dominant team of the past decade with three national runner-up and two national championship campaigns since 2013 and are currently the top-scoring team in DII men’s soccer. West Chester made its run in 2018 and looks to get back into the championship mix. Simply put, the rest of the Super Regions watch this one anxiously as the title contender seemingly is brewing within.
😴 Championship match sleepers 😴
Unlike the DII women’s soccer bracket, which traditionally sees a lot of the No. 1 seeds take care of business, the men’s bracket is far less predictable. It seems at least one low seed sneaks through every year… so, who has a chance to do it this year?
Clayton State (pictured) is an intriguing candidate. The Lakers won their first PBC tournament title since 2007 and are back in the DII men’s soccer tournament for the first time since 2010. That has Cinderella written all over it. Their first-round opponent is Lenoir-Rhyne, a team they haven’t faced since 2002 but are perfect against all time, winning all four matches by a combined score of 11-1.
What is left in the tank for No. 10 Purdue Northwest? This has been a magical season for the Pride, taking down Saginaw Valley State for their first-ever GLIAC title which earned them this…