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Keiser vs Cumberlands: NAIA Weekend Preview

The NAIA had an exciting slate of games last week and this weekend appears to be no different. It seems like every week this season Cumberland’s has been involved in the game of the week. Well that won’t be changing this week.

#2 Keiser vs #3 Cumberlands 

This is a huge matchup for the AAC. Having already knocked off Reinhardt, a win for Keiser over UC would give KU a very strong chance at being the 1 seed in the AAC tournament later in the year. Cumberlands is looking to rebound after a tough home loss to a surging Indiana Tech Squad.

Both teams coming off of a loss puts this game in an interesting spot. The mental side of this matchup will likely play a role as confidence can be key when two evenly matched teams square off. This game features two of the top goalies the NAIA has to offer. Keiser goalie Cole George currently ranks 4th in the NAIA with a 64% save percentage and Cumberland’s Will Settle sits 9th with a 59% save percentage. If Cumberlands wins we could be in for a very chaotic finish to AAC play down the stretch.

#7 Benedictine vs William Penn

William Penn recently upset No.9 Concordia to snap a three game losing streak. They will look to build upon this in a pivotal KCAC clash with the Benedictine Ravens. Benedictine is 3-3 on the year and are having a bit of an up and down year. They nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the year pushing Indiana Tech deep into the 4th quarter, before coming up a little short. However, they also lost to Siena Heights 15-8 in game that most people figured to be highly contested.

The question in this one is which offense will get off to a better start. In wins this year, Benedictine has averaged over 21 goals and WP has averaged 16 goals. In losses both teams have averaged south of 9 goals. Expect this one to fall in the 15-9 range for the winner. The winner likely finishes in the Top 3 in the KCAC, whereas the loser risks being a much lower seed in the conference tournament.

#8 Webber vs Madonna

This is an exciting match up of two teams that both appear to be on trajectory to overachieve what most people expected preseason. Madonna has only played once so far this year, but looks the part of a Top 10 team. Webber is very much in the later part of their schedule having played 10 games so far. The sharpness that comes with being in mid season form could be a factor in what appears to be a close game on paper. I asked Coach Matta of Madonna for his thoughts heading into this game.

“Excited to get the team back on the field against another top ten opponent. The Reinhardt game showed us a lot of things that we need to improve and hopefully we get the opportunity to show that this weekend.” 
– Carlos Matta, Madonna Head Coach

The winner of this one stays in the top 10 and the loser likely falls to receiving votes.