CMS Men's Soccer Has Three Players Named to All-West Region Team

CMS Men's Soccer Has Three Players Named to All-West Region Team

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore defender William Birchard of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team earned a spot on the United Soccer Coaches Division III All-West Region first team, while junior defender Adam Singer was chosen to the second team and senior midfielder Aidan Johnson was on the third team, the organization announced this week.

All three of the honorees had a major role in helping CMS to a 15-2-1 record, a SCIAC regular season championship, and the top defense statistically in the nation this season (0.216 goals per game, 15 shutouts in 18 games). Birchard started every game at left back, Singer started every game at center back, and Johnson started every game as a defensive midfielder to help form the defensive nucleus of a team that allowed only four goals all season. 

In addition to his role on defense, Birchard was also the team's leading scorer from his left back position, due to his dangerous ball-striking ability on set pieces. He finished the year with six goals and five assists, twice earning the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week Award and once earning the Offensive Player of the Week honor. He was chosen for the Offensive Player of the Week when he had both goals in a pair of 1-0 wins for CMS in the final week of the regular season to secure the regular season title, scoring on a 25-yard free kick in a 1-0 win over Redlands, and an overtime penalty kick in a 1-0 win at Occidental. 

Singer, who missed all of last season with an injury, returned this year and immediately made an impact in solidifying the team's back four. The Singer-led defense began the year with eight shutouts in a row, setting a new school record for consecutive shutouts in a season, including one week when he was named the SCIAC Defensive Player of the Week after two shutout wins over Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran, when the Stags allowed only five shot attempts in the two games combined (one on net). 

Johnson's role as a holding midfielder in front of the back four was equally important in keeping opposing teams away from the CMS net. The Stags never allowed more than four shots on goal in any game all season, as Johnson helped keep the ball away from the CMS defensive third with his ball-winning ability and sure tackling. Although he had the ability to be dangerous on offense, with six goals in his career coming into this season, he sacrificed his offense to help keep the defense organized, taking only six shots all season while helping the Stags to 15 shutouts. 

Birchard, Singer and Johnson become the first Stags honored on the All-West Region team by the United Soccer Coaches since Jake Skoll and Mehron Abdi were third-team selections in 2016. Birchard becomes the first player from the Stags to earn first-team All-West Region honors since Marshall Fisher in 2010.