Bears soccer ready to dance

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri State Men’s Soccer team is ready to put on its dancing shoes.

The Bears won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Saturday, the first since 1999, and clinch an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

It’s the second straight trip to the tournament for the Bears (11-1) and the fifth in program history.

“Last year we made it and we were really happy, but this year we aren’t just happy with making it, we want to make a big impact on this tournament,” Bears senior forward Josh Dolling said. “It’s not just something we want to get through and get into it and celebrate. We want to get into it and go as far as we can. Win a couple of games and then win the whole thing.”

Missouri State has been ranked in just about every poll and started inching toward the top after starting the season winning nine-straight matches. That has the Bears thinking a first round bye should be in order.

“This team deserves it and the one in 2019 did and if I didn’t say that I would be a liar. They deserve it,” Bears head coach Jon Leamy said. “We are so proud of them, they can play with anyone in the country and it’s going to be good to see who gets selected and who it is. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The NCAA will release the brackets for the men’s soccer championships at 11 am on Monday.

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