ATCHISON, Kan. -- The Missouri Valley College men's soccer team wasn't able to win the Heart of America Conference championship, but made the NAIA playoffs for the third year in a row.
The 12th-ranked Vikings lost Saturday's final round of the HAAC Tournament, 2-0 at No. 9 Benedictine -- the league's regular season champion. However, the next day Valley learned it had qualified for the NAIA Championship Series, which begins Saturday against an opponent and at a site to be announced later today.
The Ravens jumped on top in the 11th minute when junior Joe Sbarro scored off a pass from freshman Brian Flores. After 73 scoreless minutes, Sbarro struck again for his team-high 18th goal, assisted by junior Fernando Galvan.
That was more than enough for Benedictine (12-2-4), which had allowed only 14 goals this season -- two to the Vikings while losing its previous meeting -- and eight in 11 matches on its home pitch. Sophomore Taylor Vinnage made four saves for his ninth shutout.
Junior Nicholas Alexander had two shots on goal for Valley (12-6-2), which was blanked for the fourth time.