09:21 AM

Men's Soccer Faces SCAC Championship

The University of St. Thomas-Houston Men’s Soccer team is gearing up for the SCAC Tournament this weekend. After a league-high 12 wins this season, the defending champion Celts will open against the Southwestern Pirates on Friday for their semi-final match.

A Balance of Offense and Defense

When looking at the stat sheet, there is no doubt the Celt team should be near the top of the standings. With three of the top five goal scorers belonging to St. Thomas, the Celts pose multiple threats on the offensive end to make things difficult for opposing defenses. They have been led by two-time player of the week Taty Aleman with 16 goals in the season. Right behind him, sophomore Daniel Castro has 13 goals so far, bringing his career total to 25. This is just three behind all-time leader Rafael Bustos ‘11 with 28 in his Celt career. If that isn't enough, senior Ayomide Salako also notched eight goals this season to help an offense that averaged a stellar 3.81 goals per game.

Defensively, two goalkeepers have kept opponents on their toes. Both Christo Gayoso and Rodrigo Lazo have split time throughout the season, and this has proven to be successful. Gayoso ranks second in both goals against and goals against average. Lazo also ranks third in save percentage. With this unbreakable duo, the Celts have options to make sure the net is defended.

Men’s Soccer is Driven Beyond

In the latest NCAA regional rankings, the voters have the Celts ranked 4th in region X. Furthermore, with St. Thomas being a full member of NCAA Division III, Men’s Soccer can now qualify for the national tournament. This is more relevant than ever, as an SCAC Tournament victory will automatically qualify them for a spot against the country’s best. Should Men’s Soccer win, they will be among the first Celt teams to make an NCAA tournament.

“This is a special time of year. Every team and every player wants to be playing at this time,” Head Coach Ian Clerihew added. “Each team has its own motivation and we’re no different. We’re excited to again be representing St. Thomas in this year’s SCAC tournament.”

Men’s Soccer kicks off their SCAC tournament run in Sherman, Texas, this Friday at 8:30 pm against Southwestern University. Follow @ustathletics for all updates and the SCAC tournament website for more information.