COLLEGE: Messiah sweeps NCAA D3 titles

Messiah became the first school to sweep NCAA menÆs and womenÆs soccer titles in the same year.

The Grantham, Pa., school beat Gustavus Adolphus, 1-0, Saturday on Ryan EdwardsÆ goal in the 69th minute to win its fourth NCAA Division III menÆs title û all in the last six years.

The Messiah women beat the College of New Jersey, 1-0, on Billie Jo AtkinsÆ goal to win their first national title earlier in the day.

The Falcons finished 24-0-0 in menÆs soccer and 22-0-1 in womenÆs soccer. The men outscored their opponents, 82-0. They beat Plattsburgh State, 4-0, in the semifinals.

''Every year and each team is different,'' said Messiah menÆs coach Dave Brandt. ''This team had great chemistry and leadership which brought out the best in the team.ö

The Falcon womenÆs only blemish came in the quarterfinals, where they needed penalty kicks to beat Trinity of Texas. This marked the third time in four years the women had reached the final four. Cali PitchelÆs first goal of the season gave Messiah a 2-1 overtime win over Chicago in the semifinals.

Rachel HorningÆs flip throw-in from 35 yards found Atkins in the box for the winning header in the final.

ôI've been doing that throw since I was 9 years old,'' said Horning. ''If I just started to try the somersault now, I'd probably break my neck!''

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