CLAREMONT, Calif. - Most Valuable Player Ethan Tyng scored his second goal of the tournament and senior Cole Smith had the game-winner in the first half as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team earned the SCIAC Postseason title that eluded it a year ago with a 2-0 win over Redlands in the championship game on Saturday evening at Pritzlaff Field.
With the win, CMS improves to 14-3-2 on the season and will earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking the first time in program history that the Stags have won both the regular season and tournament titles in the same year. Last year, the Stags finished 15-2-1 and earned the regular season title, but tied Chapman 0-0 in the semifinals and lost on penalty kicks, before being denied an at-large bid to the NCAAs.
This year, after capturing their second straight regular season title with a 2-1 overtime win over Whittier in the final week of the regular season, CMS won both tournament games by 2-0 scores, defeating Occidental in the semifinals and Redlands in the finals to earn their way into the NCAA field.
"It's absolutely incredible, almost surreal," said senior captain Adam Singer, the SCIAC Player of the Year who led the CMS defense to the two postseason shutouts. "All the credit to the guys who put in so much work these last two years. This is just a huge testament for all of our hard work and I couldn't be more proud of the guys for just grinding it out today."
CMS was able to get the advantage very early, as Smith scored at the 8:41 mark of the first half. Sophomore forward William Barton was able to play Smith in behind the defense with a header, and Smith broke into the right side of the penalty area before calmly slotting a rolling shot with the outside of his foot into the lower left-corner to give CMS the quick 1-0 lead.
The Stag defense held Redlands to only three shots in the first half, but the second half saw more of a wide-open game with the Bulldogs able to threaten in the CMS offensive third several times. However, Singer and the back line held the fort, and Tyng gave the Stags a clutch insurance goal with 16:55 to play to make it a 2-0 lead. First-year forward Justin Blachman set it up by making a run up the right side and playing a cross into the box that took a high bounce, where Tyng was able to volley it in first touch from 15 yards out.
Sophomore goalie Eduardo De Anda finished the day with three saves to remain undefeated in his collegiate career at 8-0-1 with the shutout. Adrian Munoz had three saves for the Bulldogs in the losing cause.
CMS will find out its tournament opponent and destination for the NCAA Tournament when the selection show takes place on Monday morning.