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The most successful season in the history of the Ashford University men's soccer team came to a dramatic and heart-breaking end on December 6 at the 2013 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men's Soccer National Semifinals.
At the end of regulation time, the fourth-seeded Saints and 16th-seeded Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) were tied at 1-1. Two overtimes solved nothing, but it was the Red Hawks who advanced to the national championship game on penalty kicks, 5-4.
"I have never been prouder of a group of player as I am with this team," head coach Richard Markham said afterwards. "They went out the same way as they played all season, leaving everything on the field. They are champions in my eye and I can honestly say they are one of the best teams in the country. This team showed that Ashford soccer has arrived."
Following the conclusion of the men’s soccer national championship, Ashford’s team added a trio of awards to an already growing trophy case.
The team received the Nels Dahlquist Memorial Team Sportsmanship Award, while forward Daniel Dreier and defenseman Mark Hiller were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Dreier, a native of Wellendorf, Germany, netted four goals while assisting on two others in four games. The freshman forward had his breakout game in the quarterfinals against Rio Grande (Ohio) with six points (2G, 2A) in a 5-1 win.
A junior from St. Albans, England, Hiller was recognized for his work in protecting the middle of the field on defense for the Saints, along with fellow middle back Fernando Machado.
The list was released after the title game on December 7 where Martin Methodist defeated Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 2-1, in overtime to earn their first national championship.
Ashford finishes the year with a 16-4-2 record, advancing farther in the postseason than any program in school history.
About Ashford University
Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (www.ncahlc.org). The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Winet, vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.