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Four PDL Alums Guide Wayland Baptist to NAIA Title

12/04/2017, 4:15pm EST

NAIA Cinderella completes magical run with double-OT thriller

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Photo by Wayland Baptist Athletics

It was a thrilling conclusion to a Cinderella run for Wayland Baptist that saw the Pioneers crowned NAIA champions after a magical tournament run.

Led by four PDL alums, the Pioneers started this year's NAIA tournament as first-round underdogs and finished it at the top of the mountain. On the way, Wayland Baptist defeated three ranked teams, including No. 1 seed Oklahoma Wesleyan in the national semifinals. The title completes a meteoric rise for the Pioneers, who's program launched in 2009 with an 0-16 season and has risen every year since to the pinnacle of the sport.

The Pioneers started the tournament with a contest against No. 13 seed MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), and promptly pulled off their first upset with a 2-1 victory. In round two, Wayland Baptist defeated fellow underdogs Cardinal Stritch (Wisc.) 3-2 after each team's first round upset win. The Pioneers pulled off another shock upset in the quarterfinals, dispatching No. 12 Columbia (Mo.) with a 5-4 penalty kick win.

The Pioneers defining moment came in the semifinals, as they took down No. 1 seed Oklahoma Wesleyan on penalties after a 2-2 draw to advance to the national finals. Wayland Baptist then took down another high seed, No. 3 Missouri Valley, with a 1-0 title-winning result 108 minutes into the match in double-overtime for the Pioneers first national title.

Here's a look at the full NAIA championship-winning team.

2017 Wayland Baptist Roster

GK Jurlef Salazar

GK Hector Haros

D Federico Ucar

D Nick Ramos

D Ross Brown - West Virginia Chaos

M Ryan Montgomery

M Darryn Hlabangana

F Cooper Gaypia

M Gavin Shiels - West Virginia Chaos

F Ricardo Ramos

M Lochlan Reus

M Jonathan Luna - West Virginia Chaos

F James Westfield

D James Quinn

M Javier Perdomo

F Luis Almeida

M Luis Morin

M David Herrera

D Nicholas Au

M Stefano Pesce

M Kevin Foster

D Raheem Fleming

F Mewasiah Gaypia

D Alex Castillo - Tri-Cities Otters

GK Ziggy Camejo

GK Joao Souza

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