MORNING BRIEFING: Denver claims MPSF title

Denver is the second team to clinch an automatic berth to the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament thanks to Saturday's 1-0 win over Air Force and New Mexico's 1-0 loss to San Jose State on Sunday that gave the Pioneers their first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship.

"This is a monumental day for the Denver soccer program," Denver coach Bobby Muuss said. "We are absolutely thrilled to have won the conference championship, and we look forward to representing the University in the NCAA Tournament. This championship is a tribute to all the teams that came so close in the past. All of those players paved the way for this moment."

Denver won against Air Force on senior Joey Mathot's goal off a cross by Matt Kirby.

The Pioneers are 7-0-1 in MPSF play with two games remaining next weekend at UNLV on Friday and New Mexico on Sunday. The Lobos' loss drops them to 4-4-1 in MPSF play and snaps their string of four straight MPSF titles.

Denver won the 2008 MPSF championship a year after losing six starters from a 2007 team that went 6-1-3 in the MPSF, falling just shy of the conference crown.

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