Although they took different paths, the men's and women's soccer teams both achieved the same result on Saturday - winning the SCIAC Tournament. The Athenas beat Occidental 1-0 at home and the Stags won at Redlands 2-1. Each team earned the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The 59-team men's field and the 63-team women's field will be announced Sunday with the brackets announced on Monday.
The SCIAC Champion Athenas became the first #1 seed in the four-year history of the SCIAC Women's Soccer Tournament to win the tournament title. The title was their third overall and second in a row. Laura Hagen (JR, Bellevue, WA) converted a Lizzie Van Buskirk (SO, San Rafael) cross in the 14th minute to give the Athenas a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish. Occidental battled hard the entire game and came close to leveling the game in the final minutes, but Camila Friedman-Gerlicz (SR, Santa Fe, NM) was able to block a shot and then cover the rebound just before the ball rolled over the line. CMS recorded their eighth straight win to improve to 15-2-2 overall.
The #4 seeded Stags broke a couple of streaks with their win on Saturday night. On Friday, they beat top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer 2-0 to become the first team in the three-year history of the SCIAC Men's Soccer Tournament to knock out the #1 seed. The semifinal win set up a tournament meeting with Redlands for the third consecutive year. The teams met in the final in 2007 and in the semis in 2008 with Redlands winning both years by 1-0 margins including in overtime last season. After a scoreless draw at the half, the Stags scored two minutes into the second half as Harrison Doyle (FR, Hidden Hills) converted a Jared Bernstein (FR, Los Gatos) pass. Redlands scored the equalizer six and half minutes later, but the Stags answered back with three minutes remaining. David Taylor (FR, Brookline, MA) chested down an Ian Anderson (JR, San Francisco) corner and slammed home the game winner. The Stags won their fourth straight game to improve to 11-7-2 while Redlands lost at home in the SCIAC Tournament for the first time.
The Athenas will appear in the NCAA Championships for the fourth time and third time in the past four years. Last season the team advanced to the round of 16. The Stags will appear for the 14th time and first time since 2000.