[NCAA DIVISION III]Messiah repeated as the NCAA Division III champion in men's and women's soccer, sweeping Saturday's finals in San Antonio.
Danny Thompson and Nick Thompsonscored for the Falcons in their 2-0 win over Calvin in the men's final.
First-year men's coach Brad McCarty guided his squad to a 24-1 record overall after taking over for Dave Brandt, who left for Navy after winning six national titles in the last nine years.
"Dave Brandt was an awesome coach," McCarty. "He was a great leader, and he provided us with a vision. This year, you have to credit our guys. They bought in to having a new coach, they bought in to new leadership, but in some respects there were a lot of things that were similar. I bought in to Messiah soccer for the last eight years as an assistant coach, and I wanted to maintain the pride of the program. I don't think that has anything to do with championships, but I think it has to do with standards and expectations that we hold each other accountable to. I think the guys did a great job of that."
Amanda Naeherscored in the first half to give the Messiah women a 1-0 win over Washington (Mo.). Their only loss in the last three years came in the 2007 championship.
"(This year's run) always felt on edge, and it had a different feel to it, no question," said women's coach Scott Frey. "But I think we always felt that we were the team. That's the type of confidence we had. But the perception that it was easy last year? It's never easy. When you sit back and look at what this group has done, you realize that you need hard work and some breaks to go your way. And it happened for us."