Men's soccer team claims its first MAC championship
Nov. 17, 2003
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's men's soccer team (12-6-2) claimed the program's first-ever Mid-American Conference championship with a 5-0 victory over Bowling Green Sunday afternoon (Nov. 16) at the WMU Soccer Complex.
The men's MAC title came exactly one week after women's team defeated the same school, Bowling Green, 4-1, also at the WMU Soccer Complex, for the women's first-ever MAC championship. This marks the first time in MAC soccer history that one school has claimed both the men's and women's titles in the same season.
With the win, WMU earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament and will travel to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for their first-round match on Saturday, Nov. 22, beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The winner of that contest will face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. A record three MAC schools gained berths in the NCAA Tournament. Akron and Kentucky, a conference member in men's soccer only, were awarded at-large bids.
"I thought heading into the match our speed would give Bowling Green trouble, and it did," head coach Chris Karwoski said. "We were dangerous the entire match and did an excellent job defensively."
Sophomore Jeff Hughes netted what proved to be the game winner at the 6:18 mark, but the Broncos would provide many more highlights for the record-setting crowd of 512 fans. Hughes also scored the Broncos' second goal, and junior Giuliano Teixeira added another to give WMU a 3-0 advantage at the intermission. In the second half, senior Scott Duhl found Bill McClellan with a cross in the box, and McClellan was able to head it inside the far post. Transfer Edgar Rivera found the back of the net with just over five minutes remaining for the final 5-0 score.
The Broncos had a season-high 32 shots in the match. Goalkeeper Brent Miller made five saves on the day and completed the three matches of the tournament without allowing a goal. He also stopped a penalty kick in tournament's semi-final round.
The Broncos, who earned their highest-ever seed (No. 3) in the tournament, won the right to host the title game with a 0-0 (5-4) penalty kick shootout victory over No. 2-seeded Akron in the semi-finals the previous weekend. Bowling Green, the fourth seed, defeated No. 1-seeded Kentucky in the semi-finals, which set up the title match in Kalamazoo.
Sophomore Brent Miller, junior Giuliano Teixeira and seniors Travis Waters and Pat Wilson were named to the all-tournament squad for their respective roles in WMU's three wins.
Media contact: Scott Kuykendall, 269 387-4138, firstname.lastname@example.org