WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Top-seeded Midwestern State earned its 13th NCAA Tournament bid and 11th in the last 12 years Monday night.
MSU (18-0-2) will open with a familiar foe Sunday afternoon at Stang Park as fourth-seeded Colorado Mesa comes calling for the third-straight year in Wichita Falls. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
The teams, which will meet for the fourth consecutive year in the postseason, have played some memorable matches over the past few years.
Christian Okeke's goal in the 89th minute in the 2016 postseason fueled the Mustangs' national quarterfinal run. The year before, the Mustangs got second half goals by Flavio Guzman, Leon Taylor and Laurence Chamberlain to claim a 4-2 win.
Colorado Mesa scored a 1-0 win over the Mustangs in Grand Junction on the way to the program's first national semifinal showing in 2014.
Midwestern State is coming off of its fourth unbeaten regular season while claiming Heartland Conference regular season and tournament titles. The 19th-ranked Mavericks earned the No. 4 seed finishing as runner-ups in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with an overall record of 16-2-1.
In the other half of the bracket, No. 2-seeded St. Edward's will play host to No. 3 Colorado School of Mines Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lewis-Chen Family Field in Austin. The Heartland Conference runner-up Hilltoppers posted a 15-4-1 mark this season. Mines claimed the RMAC regular season and tournament titles claimed the third seed in the bracket with a 17-3 record. SEU defeated the Orediggers 3-0 earlier this season in Austin.
The winners of both of the South Central Region games will travel west to play the regional final and national quarterfinals at the South Central Region's host institution on the weekend of Nov. 17th.
The Final Four is set to take place Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.
Midwestern State carries a 15-10-3 record in the NCAA Tournament dating back to making its first-ever appearance in 2002. The Mustangs have hosted nine NCAA contests at Stang Park in their history with a 7-2-1 record.
The Maroon and Gold have made six NCAA quarterfinals appearances (2002-03, 2007-08, 2010, 2016) in program history with a pair of Final Four showings (2007, 10) under head coach Doug Elder.
Midwestern State followed the path of most resistance and overcame adversity at many turns during the 2017 season.
The Mustangs were rewarded for their resiliency Monday night by the Division II Women's Soccer Committee, earning an at-large bid for their fifth NCAA postseason appearance.
As the No. 5 seed, Midwestern opens the tournament against fourth-seeded Colorado School of Mines Thursday afternoon at Dallas Baptist's Patriot Soccer Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Orediggers scored a 3-0 win over the Mustangs earlier this season in Wichita Falls.
The winner moves on to play top-seeded Dallas Baptist in regional semifinals Saturday afternoon at 1.
In the other half of the bracket, the winner of the rematch of the Lone Star Conference tournament finals between third-seeded Angelo State and sixth-seeded West Texas A&M (Friday at 3 p.m.) takes on RMAC postseason champion UC-Colorado Springs Sunday at 2 p.m. in the regional semifinals.
The two semifinal winners advance to the regional final and national quarterfinals hosted by the West Region's highest remaining seed. The Final Four is set to take place Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.
Midwestern State's five trips to the NCAA Tournament have all come since 2010, making three appearances in a span of four seasons in 2010, 2011 and 2013 under former head coach Jeff Trimble. The Mustangs are 1-4-1 in postseason play, recording their lone NCAA win in the opening round of the 2011 tournament against St. Edward's, 1-0, in Abilene. The Mustangs also advanced by the Hilltoppers last season -- on penalty kicks.
MSU looks to shake a four-match skid heading into postseason play. The Mustangs are 11-7-1 this season.