Men’s soccer chases 20th SCAC championship


The men’s soccer team prepares for their upcoming game this Friday. Photo by Chloe Sonnier

From the outside, many varsity teams at Trinity look the same. Winning histories and coaches with tenure make up a large portion of our athletic programs. Back-to-back conference championships are common, as are offensive and defensive player-of-the-year awards.

One team, however, stands above the rest. Trinity men’s soccer has been nothing short of dominant since the hire of head coach Paul McGinlay 26 years ago, in 1991.

McGinlay is one of the best active soccer coaches in the nation; his teams have won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) 19 times, including the past 15 years consecutively. With an all-time record of 215-13-8, McGinlay is one of the all-time top five soccer coaches in the NCAA in terms of winning percentages. It is no surprise that McGinlay has also been honored as the SCAC Coach of the Year 14 times.

Year after year, McGinlay and his program dominate in not only the SCAC, but also in the national tournament. The men’s soccer team has competed in the NCAA Division III National Championship 20 times in the last 21 years. McGinlay has also coached 31 All-Americans during his tenure, as well as several players who have gone on to play professional soccer.

How does McGinlay do it? What makes his teams so successful? For some, it’s really simple.

“Coach McGinlay has built this program from the ground up and he is the primary reason why Trinity is one of the premier men’s soccer programs in the country,” said Edward Cartee, Trinity men’s soccer assistant coach. Cartee, a former Tiger soccer standout, graduated from Trinity in 2009.

Recruiting is another reason why the Tigers are so successful. Cartee praises the team’s defensive unit and midfield, along with phenomenal team leadership.

“Every year our team always features an impressive array of talent,” Cartee said.

Cartee has helped coach the Tigers to five SCAC championships and five NCAA playoff appearances.

“Coach McGinlay called me in the summer of 2012 and I leaped at the opportunity,” Cartee said. “It is a tremendous honor to coach at my alma mater.”

For his sixth season assistant coaching, Cartee is focused on winning not only the SCAC, but the national championship.

“We have outstanding leadership, and I’m excited about our team’s chemistry. I’m looking forward to seeing our team accomplish great things this season,” Cartee said.

While winning another SCAC championship is a goal, senior defender Daylon Gordon has his eyes set on something bigger.

“We are always looking to defend the SCAC title, but the ultimate goal is always a national championship,” Gordon said. “I believe we always have the talent to get there every year and I do not think that changes this year.”

The Tigers return seven starters from last year’s squad and are predicted to win the SCAC again this year. Despite their strong core, Gordon believes the first-year class will be key this season.

“When you combine their useful enthusiasm with the experience from the upperclassmen, I believe that makes for a very good team capable of bringing home a national championship,” Gordon said.

Gordon also stresses the importance of having a common goal and high standard for the team.

“By setting our standards high, everyone must work hard and support one another to reach those lofty goals,” Gordon said.

The men’s soccer team will face the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Paul McGinlay Soccer Field. Gordon emphasizes the role of student support during the team’s quest for a national championship.

“A big part of our success is due to the support we get from our family, friends, and fans who constantly motivate us every game,” Gordon said.

If you can’t make it to the game, tune in to the Tiger Network.