CMS Men's Soccer Heads Back to Texas, Meets Texas Lutheran in NCAA Opening Round

CMS celebrates the eventual game-winning goal from Cole Smith in Saturday's championship (photo by Tessa Guerra)
CMS celebrates the eventual game-winning goal from Cole Smith in Saturday's championship (photo by Tessa Guerra)

NCAA Bracket

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The SCIAC Champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team will be making its second trip to Texas this season as it visits Trinity for the NCAA Division III regionals, meeting Texas Lutheran in the opening round on Saturday.

Earlier this season, the Stags traveled to UT Dallas for a pair of games, defeating Trinity 3-1 on Sept. 6 and then falling to the hosts 1-0 on a late goal the following day. This time around, the Stags will open with Texas Lutheran, and if they advance, they will face either Trinity or UT Dallas in the second round on Sunday.

CMS earned the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 2-0 win over Redlands in the conference championship game on Saturday, earning the program its first bid since the 2012 squad earned an at-large bid to the field. Senior Cole Smith got the scoring started in the opening 10 minutes, and sophomore forward and Tournament MVP Ethan Tyng added an insurance goal with 16:55 remaining. 

The Stags have been a dominant program over the last two years, compiling a 29-5-3 record since the start of the 2018 season. A year ago, CMS was left out of the field with a 15-2-1 record and the nation's top defense (0.22 GAA) after suffering a loss on penalty kicks in the conference tournament. This year, CMS upgraded its non-conference schedule and earned wins over Emory, Trinity and St. Thomas (Minn.) before the start of conference play, but ended up not needing to worry about its at-large resume by winning both league tournament games 2-0. 

CMS heads into the NCAA Tournament with a balanced offense, led by Tyng and fellow sophomore William Barton, who are tied for team-high honors with 18 points apiece. Tyng has a team-high eight goals, including one in each SCIAC Tournament game, and two assists, while Barton has seven goals, including the golden goal in overtime over Whittier that gave CMS the regular season title, and four assists. Smith has four goals and a team-best five assists, while juniors William Birchard and Daniel Rohde each have three goals and four assists for 10 points. 

Defensively, SCIAC Player of the Year Adam Singer and junior Kevin Proudfoot have anchored the back four from their center back positions, as CMS heads to the postseason with a stingy 0.55 goals against average. Sophomores Eduardo De Anda (8-0-1, 0.42 GAA) and Jacob Mays (6-3-1, 0.67 GAA) have split time in goal for the Stags. 

The last time the Stags earned an invitation to the NCAA Division III Championship, it was also a trip to Trinity where they drew the Tigers in the 2012 opening round, falling 3-1.