Middlebury wins first national crown with defense

[NCAA DIVISION III MEN] Middlebury won the NCAA Division III men's title without scoring a goal in the final four played Friday and Saturday at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Panthers beat top-ranked Trinity (Texas), 4-3  on penalty kicks after their game ended in a 0-0 tie. Both Tiger misses in the shootout hit the woodwork.

Middlebury goalkeeper Brian Bush stop nine shots during regulation and overtime. Trinity, which entered the final with a 23-0-0 record, nearly won the game three minutes into overtime period when Matt Beham sent in a cross from the right side, and Robbie C'deBaca's header was saved on the far post by Middlebury defender Corey Moffat.

"I felt that we played good enough soccer to create enough chances to win in the first half, and again in the second half and overtime," Trinity coach Paul McGinlay said. "When it comes to penalty kicks, there's no more coaching."

Middlebury's Brandon Jackson converted on the game-winner, leading to a celebration for the program's first national title.

"The foundation of a good team is defense," Middlebury coach David Saward said. "It's an incredible honor for us to do this, especially with the four teams that were here."

The Panthers, who didn't allow a goal in five NCAA tournament games, beat Loras, 3-1, on penalty kicks in the semifinals after their game also ended in a 0-0 tie. Trinity beat three-time defending champion Messiah, 1-0, in Friday's other semifinal.

All-Tournament Team:
J.D. Binger - Messiah
Kai Kasiguran - Messiah
Santiago Mejia - Loras
Mike Richter - Loras
Brian Bush - Middlebury (MVP)
German Gomez - Trinity
Patrick Ftorek - Trinity
Robbie C'deBaca - Trinity
Andrew Germansky - Middlebury
Corey Moffat - Middlebury
Andrew Banadda - Middlebury

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