Dalton State men's soccer earns at-large bid to NAIA tournament, opens Thursday as second seed

Dalton State College's men's soccer team is bound for the NAIA national tournament.

The Roadrunners earned one of 13 at-large bids to the 40-team tournament after a 12-5-1 season that saw Dalton State reach the semifinals of the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament.

Dalton State is the second seed in the four-team opening round bracket in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Roadrunners play second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan on Thursday at 1:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to face the winner of a match between host Keiser and fourth-seeded Florida National. The championship round for the opening bracket is Saturday.

Dalton State faced Tennessee Wesleyan, which was the runner-up in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, in the regular season, falling 1-0 on the road in Athens, Tennessee, as Tennessee Wesleyan scored a goal in the 87th minute.

The winner of the bracket will be one of 10 teams that advance to the finals site in Decatur, Alabama.

It's the third straight appearance in the national tournament for Dalton State after the Roadrunners reached the postseason tournament for the first time in 2019. The Roadrunners entered the tournament undefeated last season but fell in an opening-round match to St. Thomas. Dalton State is still searching for its first win in the tournament.

The Roadrunners were one of 13 teams to earn an at-large bid to the tournament, with 27 automatic spots going to conference tournament champions or runners-up.

Mobile also earned an at-large bid out of the SSAC, while conference champion William Carey received the conference's automatic bid.

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