William Birchard Earns Second-Team All-America Honors from United Soccer Coaches

William Birchard had five goals and four assists to help CMS to the NCAA Round of 16 (photo courtesy of Trinity Univ.)
William Birchard had five goals and four assists to help CMS to the NCAA Round of 16 (photo courtesy of Trinity Univ.)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer junior defender William Birchard earned NCAA Division III Second-Team All-America honors from the United Soccer Coaches, the organization announced today at their annual awards banquet.

Birchard had five goals and four assists this season as a left back for the Stags, including the game-winning goal against Occidental in the SCIAC semifinals off a second-half free kick. He also had two goals, both on penalty kicks, in the first half of an NCAA Tournament Opening Round win over Texas Lutheran. 

In the last two years, Birchard has been part of a defensive back four that has totaled 27 shutouts in 40 games. He helped CMS lead the nation in team defense last year at 0.22 goals per game, while outscoring all 18 Stag opponents himself 6-4, earning third-team All-America honors from D3soccer.com.

This year, Birchard was part of a team that finished 16-4-2, won both the SCIAC regular season and postseason titles in the same year for the first time in program history, and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time since 1985.

During its postseason run, the Stags defense had four straight shutouts, winning both SCIAC Tournament games 2-0 (over Occidental and Redlands) and winning its first two NCAA Tournament games 2-0 (over Texas Lutheran and Trinity). The CMS defense was so stout during the run, that the two Stag goalies combined to make just five saves over those four shutouts.  

Birchard becomes the first United Soccer Coaches All-American for the Stags since Trevor Mutch earned second-team honors in 2001. If he repeats next year, he will become only the third two-time All-American in program history, joining Jonathan Byers (1991, 1992) and Patrick Gorgue (1993, 1994). Byers was the last first-team All-American that the Stags have had, earning that distinction in both 1991 and 1992, while Steve Goodson was also a first-team honoree in 1989.