Scheibeler propels Messiah to repeat
Falcons capture fourth national championship in five seasons
SAN ANTONIO -- Messiah senior midfielder Rachel Scheibeler is a game-winner for the Falcons.
Scheibeler, from Mountoursville, Pa., scored the only goal in Messiah's 1-0 victory Saturday against Emory in the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship final at Blossom Soccer Stadium. The win gave the Falcons their second consecutive NCAA title, the fourth in the last five years, and fifth overall. Scheibeler also scored the game-winner in a 3-0 triumph against Misericordia in Friday's semifinals.
Messiah swept the championship trophies as the Falcon men defeated Ohio Northern 5-1 earlier in the day, for their ninth overall title. Mark Kovach had the game-winner for the men, and was named Tournament Offensive MVP.
Scheibeler, who was selected as the women's Offensive MVP, was not concerned about getting a game-winning goal, but furthering her team's outcome.
"We focus a lot on movement, on and off the ball," Scheibeler said. "In our positions as midfielders, it's important to make runs and be dynamic."
That was the technical response to the mechanics of soccer. But Scheibeler, who will graduate with a degree in psychology, had some good advice for the younger players on the Falcons team.
"I would say to treat every game as if it's important, because it is," Scheibeler said. "We always train hard and practice hard, no matter who is on the other side of the field."
With the women's championship victory, it marked the fourth time that both Messiah teams won the top prize together. After trophies were handed out, the Falcons men's team came onto the field to join their schoolmates,
The moment was especially significant to women's coach Scott Frey, whose children both play for Messiah. His son, Drew, is a junior midfielder on the championship men's team. And, Frey also coaches his daughter, Alicia, who was selected for the All-Tournament Team.
"It is a privilege to play, to coach your daughter, and watch your son play in such a high level and on a great program," said Frey, who has now guided Messiah to five national titles. "I just tell people it's a wonderful time of life. I'm trying to enjoy it without being too much of a coach. I can't believe they are seniors (next year)."