Men’s Soccer to Join Ohio Valley Conference in 2023
Liberty’s men’s soccer program has found a new conference affiliation with the Flames set to join the Ohio Valley Conference in 2023.
Four OVC institutions currently field men’s soccer teams: Eastern Illinois, Lindenwood, SIUE and Southern Indiana.
In addition, Liberty, along with Chicago State, Houston Christian and Incarnate Word have accepted an invitation to join the conference as affiliate members, giving the OVC eight men’s soccer programs. Men’s soccer will become the 19th sport sponsored by the OVC.
The OVC becomes the 24th Division I Conference to sponsor the sport of men’s soccer and the conference’s champion will receive an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship.
The OVC will be the third NCAA Division I conference in the history of the Liberty men’s soccer program. Men’s soccer was a member of the Big South Conference from 1991-2018 while having a conference home in the ASUN Conference from 2019-22.
Liberty won a pair of conference titles during its time with the Big South Conference (2007 and 2011), earning two trips to the NCAA Tournament.
In November of 2021, Liberty Athletics accepted an invitation to join Conference USA, starting with the 2023-24 athletics season. The announcement made Conference USA the new all-sport conference for 17 of Liberty’s 20 NCAA I Division athletics programs.
Conference USA does not sponsor the sport of men’s soccer, nor the sports of field hockey or women’s swimming and diving.
Liberty’s field hockey program will continue as an associate member of the BIG EAST Conference. Conference affiliation has yet to be finalized for the Lady Flames’ women’s swimming and diving, who have won the last five CCSA championships.
“OVC men’s soccer will afford our program the opportunity to compete for a conference championship and NCAA postseason access. We are grateful to Commissioner DeBauche, her staff and the campus administrators for bringing this opportunity to fruition.”
Liberty University Director of Athletics
“We are excited to be a part of the Ohio Valley Conference for men’s soccer. Every program, player and coach wants the opportunity to compete for automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament, and the newly formed conference will give all teams the chance to do so. There are many people to thank for the hard work that went into making OVC men’s soccer happen. We want to thank Ian McCaw and Erin Hagen for their commitment to Liberty men’s soccer, the OVC commissioner, Beth DeBauche, and the other athletics directors and coaches from the participating programs for creating and executing this opportunity.”
Liberty University Head Men’s Soccer Coach
“It is exciting to be able to start a sport from scratch. This move helps us invest in our future and makes us stronger from a membership standpoint. It also addresses needs in the men’s soccer community.”