Men’s Soccer registers historic win


#22 Andrea Codispoti (JR), #29 Michael Pham (FY) Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

Photo by Matthew Claybrook

The men’s soccer team defeated the University of Dallas (UD) on Sept. 22, Texas Lutheran University (TLU) on Sept. 27 and Southwestern University on Sept. 29; the Tigers won 60, 40 and 21, respectively. The three consecutive wins marked the Tigers’ first multi-game win streak of season.

The matchups counted as non-conference competition against fellow Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) members, but the TLU game ended up making history, as head coach Paul McGinlay earned his 500th career victory with the Tigers.


Going into Friday night, the looming milestone seemed to be the elephant in the room.

“Before Friday, we knew that [McGinlay’s] next win would be his 500th, but this didn’t change our approach to the game. Overall, McGinlay expects a win from us every game, so we just went into Friday looking to play our best,” said senior and goalkeeper Blake Lieberman.

McGinlay is the ninth men’s soccer coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III coach to reach 500 wins in their career and the 16th men’s soccer coach in any NCAA division to earn 500 wins. McGinlay is also the fastest in history in any NCAA division to reach 500 victories, as the victory against TLU came in his 614th overall game. His roots in the Trinity program run deep; he has coached the Tigers since 1991 and is currently serving in his 29th season.

“I hadn’t thought about where I’d be 30 years after being hired. It was much like we treat the games; it is always one game at a time, so it tended to just be one year at a time, and all of a sudden twenty-nine have appeared. It is amazing to reflect back to the start of it, because I have very visceral memories of 1991. I was reminded of that on Sunday, when one of the players that played in my first game was here visiting from San Francisco. He spoke to the team about how quickly time passes, and emphasized that it’s important to take advantage of every moment,because time is fleeting,” McGinlay said.

Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach Edward Cartee, who was previously coached by McGinlay, explains that the weight of McGinlay’s contribution to the soccer program is immeasurable.

“McGinlay has literally been here for half of his life, and dedicated so much of himself to the team. I had the honor of playing under him for four years, and now as an assistant coach, I see that there’s no higher honor than to serve at your alma mater. He’s an amazing recruiter, mentor and caring person. He has so much experience in the game and his results are a direct reflection of that,” Cartee said.


At Friday’s game, senior and goalkeeper Blake Lieberman showed his commitment to the team after an intense injury at a game on Sept. 13.

“I got kneed in the face when I was coming out on a 50/50 ball in the last 10 minutes of the Christopher Newport game. I broke my nose and two bones in my upper lip, as well as splitting my lip open in a few places. I ended up with 18 stitches between my lip, gums and nose,” Lieberman said.

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Despite his injury, Lieberman returned to the field for the action-packed TLU game. The 4–0 victory was the team’s second shutout in a row. While Lieberman was sidelined for the game against UD, sophomore goalkeeper Juan Carlos Vidales took over at goal and recorded two saves to earn his first career shutout. Cartee praised Lieberman for maintaining a positive attitude towards the obstacles he faced in the weeks prior to the TLU game.

“Blake Lieberman, who is one of our team captains this year, played while wearing a face mask because of the injuries he sustained in the Christopher Newport game. He worked extremely hard to be able to come back and lead the team again, and we’re all proud of the mental and physical toughness he’s displayed in the last few weeks,” Cartee said.

Friday’s big game against TLU was also during Trinity Soccer’s Family and Friends Weekend, meaning more fans than usual were in the stands to witness the Tigers making history.

“Family and Friends Weekend is really cool because everyone on the team has their family come down to watch the games, and mine was able to come down from New York,” said junior forward Andrea Codispoti. “It’s a great event because the entire atmosphere is different and game attendance is larger in general, which gives us something special to play for, especially during a competitive weekend of games.”

Codispoti is currently the team’s leading scorer, with five goals over eight games. His strong performance in the weekend’s games also earned him the title of SCAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. First-year defender Colton Wilbur leads the assists column, with two for the season. Junior midfielder Jacob Hallenberger now has 19 career assists for the Tigers, tying him for a spot in the top 25 in school history. With this victory, the Tigers improved to 422 on the year.

The Tigers followed up McGinlay’s 500th victory with a 21 win over Southwestern university on Sunday. First-year defender JonConnor Rule, who initially got the win streak started with his goal against UD, details how easily the team has come together.

“The acceptance of everyone towards not only me but all the first-years was really eye-catching. From the start, it’s been easy to connect with everyone on the team and enjoy being here,” Rule said. “The team has allowed me to become a better player, and even though I am a first-year and starting, I’ve felt the encouragement of everyone in the program.”

The Tigers will look to maintain their hot-streak and positive atmosphere in their first conference matchup, hosted at Paul McGinlay Field against Schreiner University on Friday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m.