COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. First-year midfielder Griffin Meyer and head coach Scott Palguta received two of the top individual awards from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for leading the Colorado College men’s soccer team to the program’s first-ever regular-season crown and an 8-1 record in conference play.
Meyer became the fifth Tiger to be named SCAC Newcomer of the Year, joining Matt Fechter (2009), Caden MacKenzie (2013), Theo Hooker (2014) and Soren Frykholm (2016) on the list of recipients.
Palguta was named Coach of the Year for the first time, joining two-time recipient Horst Richardson as CC coaches to be honored by their conference peers. Now in his fifth season, Palguta guided the Tigers to a 13-5 overall record and a No. 22 ranking in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Division III Poll.
Five Colorado College student-athletes were named to the all-SCAC teams, while three others received honorable-mention accolades.
Junior midfielder John Schuler and sophomore goalkeeper Keleher Felton earned a spot on the first team, while senior forward Sam Bermingham, sophomore defender Rory Eastland-Fruit and Meyer were second-team selections.
Schuler, who was a key contributor at both ends of the pitch, earned first-team honors for the second year in a row. CC’s holding midfielder got his season off on the right, technically the left, foot when he struck for the game-winning goal in the 3-0 victory over Luther College.
The junior co-captain was one of four Tigers to start all 18 games and led the Tigers with 1,291 minutes. His second-half penalty kick ignited Colorado College’s comeback in the 2-1 victory over Trinity University, and he recorded a pair of assists in the 6-0 win over Johnson & Wales in the regular-season finale.
Felton, who earned all-conference honors for the first time, literally saved CC’s season by posting an 8-1-0 record while filling in for the injured Keller Mochel. He led the SCAC with a 0.66 goals-against average, a .864 saves percentage, and an average of 0.44 shutouts per game.
The sophomore goalkeeper made a career-high 10 saves in the 2-1 victory at the University of Dallas, and then four against Trinity when the Tigers clinched at least a share of the regular-season title.
Meyer led Colorado College and tied for second in the SCAC with 10 goals. He also was second on the team and fourth in the conference with 22 points. He led the Tigers with four game-winning goals, the last of which was the victory over Trinity.
The first-year forward became the first Tiger to record double-digit goals since Brandon Ogilvie scored 11 in 2014, and the first freshman to accomplish the feat since Matt Fechter struck for 11 in 2009. Meyer’s four game winners are the most for CC since Caden MacKenzie scored five in 2016.
Bermingham, a first-time honoree, led Colorado College with 23 points and nine assists, and was second with seven goals, all of which were career highs. He tied for first in the SCAC in assists and tied for second in points.
Good things came in threes for Bermingham. His comeback season included three assists in the 5-4 win over Centenary College, and he finished the regular season with his first career hat trick in the 6-0 victory over Johnson & Wales University. He also set up Hayden Cogswell's game winner against the Wildcats, one of two game-winning assists this season.
Eastland-Fruit started all 18 games and ranked third on the team with 1,348 minutes. He helped anchor the back line that led the SCAC with a 0.56 GAA, five shutouts and just five goals conceded in conference games.
He earned his first career assist on a corner kick during the 5-1 win over Texas Lutheran University.
Junior midfielder Samson Heyer, junior forward Kiran Singh and first-year defender Noah Johnson were honorable-mention selections.
Singh finished the season ranked third on the team with six goals and 16 points, and tied for third with four assists. He also tied for second with a pair of game-winning goals.
Heyer set career highs with six points and a pair of assists, while Johnson led the first-year Tigers with 1,247 minutes.
Colorado College kicks off its quest for the program’s first SCAC Championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship on Saturday, Nov. 9. As the tournament's top seed, the Tigers will play the first semifinal match against whichever team goes through from Friday's first quarterfinal game between Austin College and Southwestern University.