William Birchard Named SCIAC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week

William Birchard Named SCIAC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore back William Birchard was named the SCIAC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for games through Sept. 9, it was announced today by the league office.

Birchard earned the honor for his role in leading the Stags to a pair of shutout wins with his performance on both ends of the field. He was part of a back four that picked up its third and fourth straight shutouts, holding La Verne and Macalaster to a combined 16 shots (five on net) and no goals. 

Offensively, Birchard came forward up the left sideline to pick up the assist on the eventual game-winning goal in a 3-0 win over La Verne on Wednesday, which was finished by junior forward Cole Smith. Birchard sent a low blast on target that forced a diving save from La Verne's goalie, and Smith was able to crash in from the weak side and tap in the rebound. 

Birchard then scored the game's only goal in a 1-0 win over Macalaster on Saturday, sneaking forward on a corner kick and blasting in a left-footed shot from outside the box in the 60th minute. His strike enabled the Stags to come away with a win against a strong Macalaster team that finished 12-6-1 a year ago and was 1-0-1 in 2018 entering the match. 

For the season, the Stags have outscored their opponents by a combined 14-0 and have held a 67-25 advantage in shots. Due to the strong play of Birchard and the back four, freshman goalie Jacob Mays has begun his career with four straight shutouts, while only needing to make seven saves. 

CMS will put their unblemished record to the test on Wednesday for its first road game, when it travels across Sixth Street to meet SCIAC rival Pomona-Pitzer at 4 p.m.