Former Liverpool, Inverness and Highland League full-back John Scott steered Hartwick College to the Sun Belt Conference Championship crown a week after the Oneonta, New York-based school clinched the regular-season title.
Hartwick sealed the “Double” with a 1-0 win over Georgia Southern in Sunday’s tournament final to secure its first berth in the national NCAA Tournament in nine years.
Scott’s success owes much to his countrymen. Falkirk native Jamie O’Grady prodded home the vital goal on 65 minutes to clinch Hartwick’s first championship title since winning the Atlantic Soccer Conference in 2005.
Glaswegian defender Ross MacKinnon helped the Hawks to a 2-0 win over Appalachian State in Friday’s semi-final with a pinpoint cross for Mike Rood to head in the opening goal.
Fellow Scots Marc Berry, Hayden Hollinger, Marc Russell and Liam Watt have also contributed to Hartwick’s success this year.
This year’s 48-team national tournament kicks off with first round games on Nov. 21. The draw will be revealed on Monday afternoon.
Other Scots making news in the men’s Division I college ranks this week:
* * * * *
Former Morton youth forward Lewis Hawke grabbed the winner for Furman in Saturday’s Southern Conference Championship Final against Mercer to earn an automatic placing in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Hawke broke a scoreless game with eight minutes remaining when he nodded home a right-wing cross from Bobby Edet. The Greenville, South Carolina-based Paladins lifted the SoCon Championship title for the 12th time in school history.
* * * * *
Inverkeithing’s Michael Scott won his third consecutive America East Conference Championship and second straight “Double” of regular-season and tournament with UMBC. The Baltimore-based Retrievers came back from a goal down at half-time to topple Hartford by 2-1 in Saturday’s final.
Scott had helped to secure UMBC’s place in the final with a deft chip to secure a 3-1 win over Vermont in last Wednesday’s semi-final.
Tain native Alan Duff missed out on a place in Sunday’s final when his Binghamton side lost to Hartford in overtime at the semi-final stage.
* * * * *
Bobby Clark’s hopes of steering Notre Dame to a “Treble” of regular-season title, conference tournament and national championship ended in penalty shootout failure last Friday.
Clark’s Fighting Irish completed the first of its three targets earlier this month by retaining the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title. Stage Two involved winning the ACC Championship knockout tournament. Notre Dame, ranked No. 2 in the national coaches’ poll, defeated Virginia by 3-0 in last weekend’s quarter-final before being ousted by Clemson in the semi-final held at neutral WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
It is the second straight year that the former Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper has seen his team’s treble hopes extinguished by a shootout at this stage. Virginia clawed back two late goals in last year’s semi-final to tie 3-3 before triumphing on penalties. The Irish came within two minutes of reaching Sunday’s final before No. 14 ranked Clemson found a dramatic late goal to snatch a 1-1 tie.
Notre Dame shrugged off last year’s upset to finish the season with five straight wins, culminating with a 2-1 victory over Maryland in the NCAA College Cup Final to lift its first national championship.
* * * * *
Cal State Bakersfield’s Simon Doherty suffered the cruelest of agony on Sunday when his missed penalty kick handed the Western Athletic Conference Championship title to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The former Cowdenbeath and Stirling Albion youth forward needed to convert his fourth-round kick with the Roadrunners trailing 4-2 in a shootout after a 1-1 tie in Seattle. UNLV goalkeeper Ryan Harding pulled off his second save to win the trophy for the No. 1 seed.
CSUB was somewhat disadvantaged having been involved in a shootout two days earlier after tying 1-1 with hosts Seattle in the semi-final. Doherty was successful on that occasion as the No. 6 seeded Roadrunners ousted the hosts by 4-3 from the spot.
Bakersfield ends the season with a 10 wins, seven losses and five ties (10-7-5).
* * * * *
Ex-Rangers and Scotland youth defender Jordan Wilson missed out on lifting the Conference USA regular-season title with Kentucky last week. The Auchterarder native suffered further disappointment last Wednesday when South Carolina knocked the No. 18 ranked Wildcats out of the C-USA tournament in the quarter-final.
Sam Bell’s Western Michigan took a second-half lead at perennial powerhouse Akron in the Mid-American Conference Championship semi-final before losing out to two penalty kicks in the closing 20 minutes. Prestwick native Bell saw action for 18 minutes coming off the substitutes’ bench. The Broncos end the season at 8-7-4.
Former Celtic youth forward Christian McKenna came close to giving the No. 5 seeded Northeastern a first-half lead at No. 1 seed Delaware in last Friday’s Colonial Athletic Association tournament semi-final. McKenna’s shot from the edge of the penalty box sneaked inches past the post. Delaware ultimately advanced to the CAA final with the game’s only goal arriving in sudden-death overtime to end Northeastern’s season at 8-11-1.
Ross Morison’s collegiate career ended in disappointment last Wednesday when his Stetson team was ousted from the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship at the quarter-final stage by Northern Kentucky. The Central Florida-based Hatters finished the season at 8-7-2 overall. Linlithgow native Morison made 31 appearances in two years at Stetson after transferring from Rhode Island, scoring three goals.
Michael Hutcheon’s Radford failed at the final hurdle in its bid to win the Big South Conference “Double” after losing 1-0 to Coastal Carolina in Sunday’s final. The senior defender from Forfar played no part in the tournament.
IPFW lost 3-0 at Denver in the Summit League’s tournament semi-final on Friday. Glaswegian midfielder Spencer Brown made a substitute appearance as the Mastodons ended the season with a 6-9-4 record.
Jamie Clark’s No. 9 ranked University of Washington slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Oregon State in its final Pacific 12 Conference game to finish third in the standings. There is no Pac-12 tournament. The Huskies move to 12-5-1 on the year ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
* * * * *
College Soccer – Women’s Division I
Scottish representation in the 64-team women’s NCAA Tournament started and finished at the weekend when Lois Heuchan’s Kansas fell 3-1 to Missouri in its first-round match-up. The first-year forward from Castle Douglas came on as a substitute as the Jayhawks’ season ended with a 15-6-0 record.