San Antonio - Trinity junior forward Christian Sakshaug and junior goalkeeper McCaleb Taylor led the group of seven Tiger players selected for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer All-Tournament Team. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Mazur)
Sakshaug was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, and Taylor was tabbed as the Defensive MVP. The second-ranked Tigers edged Austin (TX) College 2-1 in the semifinals, and won their sixth consecutive conference title with a 4-0 victory over the home team University of Dallas (TX). Trinity captured its 20th overall SCAC Championship, and earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The conference event, held in Irving, Texas, marked the third time Sakshaug was selected for the All-Tournament Team. Sakshaug scored the equalizing goal against Austin College, by firing in a penalty kick in the 84th minute of action. He scored the first goal - also by penalty kick - and eventual game-winner, in the championship matchup with Dallas. Sakshaug is second on the Trinity team with 10 goals, and has produced a game-winner.
Sakshaug made conference history with his MVP selection. He joined Trinity's Johnny Lawson as the SCAC's only two-time Offensive MVP honoree. Lawson earned the accolade in 2012 and 2014.
Taylor came off the bench in the 36th minute to guard the net in the Austin College defensive battle, and chalked up a save. He made his first collegiate start, and amassed six saves in the tilt with the University of Dallas. Taylor, who was selected for the All-Tournament Team for the first time, has 15 saves to his credit this season.
Senior defender Kellen Reid, junior forward Austin Michaelis, and sophomore midfielder Brady Johnston each made the All-Tournament Team for the second straight year. Johnston connected on a penalty kick with just 14 seconds remaining against Austin College, which propelled the Tigers to the championship game.
Led by 27th-year Head Coach Paul McGinlay, the Tigers stand at 20-1-0. Trinity begins competition Saturday in its 21st NCAA Tournament by hosting the opening two rounds. The Tigers meet the University of Texas-Tyler in the first round at 5:00 p.m. Saturday. UT-Tyler received votes in the United Soccer Coaches Division III Poll. The winner plays either 18th-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX) or Willamette (OR) University in Sunday's second round at 7:00 p.m.