SWU Men’s soccer team claims NCCAA national championship

Members of the Southern Wesleyan University men’s soccer team celebrate their NCCAA championship victory earlier this month.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Southern Wesleyan University men’s soccer team recently claimed the first national title in school history, defeating Lee University 1-0 in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championship game on Dec. 7.

The lone goal came off the foot of Joao Oliveira in the 33rd minute, scoring off a deflected save from a shot by Douglas Andrade. It was the sixth goal of the season for Oliveira.

The Warriors (16-6-2) completed an undefeated run through the NCCAA National tournament, where they defeated Campbellsville and Houghton 2-1 in pool play before taking down Spring Arbor 2-1 in the semifinals. The Warriors closed the season by winning their final seven matches and set a school record with 16 wins.

SWU dominated most of the championship game with the final shot count reflecting a more even match, 10 shots for the Warriors and eight for the Flames. Most of Lee’s shots came towards the end as it tried to find the equalizer. The game wasn’t sealed until Warrior goalkeeper Ruben Rodriguez made his fourth and final save with just seconds to spare off a header attempt from Chevon Roberts.

Southern Wesleyan’s Douglas Andrade was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament after scoring two goals and recording two assists. Both goals came in the semifinal win over Spring Arbor.

The national championship is the third for the school’s athletic department, joining the 2007 baseball and women’s basketball teams that won NCCAA crowns.  Earlier this season, men’s golfer Zach Moore won the NCCAA individual national championship to become the school’s first individual champion.