CHICKASHA — The fact that the Drovers enter the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round undefeated for the first time in school history doesn’t have an effect on Coach Jimmy Hampton or his coaching staff.
“The way we view it is it’s a new season and both teams are 0-0,” he explained. “You have to win to get here, but at this point records do not matter as it’s win or go home.”
USAO earned the opportunity to make history by hosting the national event. The Opening Round game, which will be against Grand View University from Iowa, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday on Hampton Field at Chickasha High School.
“I am excited for USAO to get to host and thankful to CHS for letting us use their facilities,” Hampton said. “We are hoping to pack the place with 1,500 Drover fans for this unique event.”
Tickets for the game will be $4 for adults and $3 for students. Students with a valid USAO or CHS ID will get in for just $2, while children under 12 can enter for free.
USAO Athletic Department is offering free tickets to the first 50 USAO students at the game.
“I think we’re pretty confident,” said Scott Parkinson, a junior defender. “We know that a few teams have taken us close to beating us in regulation time, but all in all, we know we are tough to beat. We just have to continue to work on our game plan that has been given to us since day one and keep striving to improve.”
This is the fourth year in a row the Drover men (13-0-4) have earned an invite to the national tournament, but the first year to host the event.
The GVU Vikings (9-7-2) enter the tournament having won the Midwest Collegiate Conference Championship. This is their eighth trip to the NAIA National Tournament.