The Messiah Falcons have become synonymous with Division III soccer. For the 11th time since 2000, Messiah is national champion, defeating North Park 2-1 in the DIII Men’s Soccer Championship for the 2017 title.
North Park wasted little time scoring the first championship game goal in program history. Gustav Ericsson drilled a grounder passed Connor Bell in just the second minute of the game. Messiah wasted little time answering. Justin Brautigam, Messiah’s semifinals hero, tied the game on a header just three minutes later. The game would remain tied until the closing seconds of the first half. Ben Haines scored the first goal of his career. It would be the game-winner, and all Messiah needed for its 11th title.
Messiah dominated the second half offensively but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Falcons were able to hold off a late flurry from the Vikings and no goals were scored in the final 45 minutes.
North Park ends its historic season 20-2-2, marching all the way to the first championship game in program history. Messiah finishes 24-2-0 with another trophy added to its growing collection.
Relive every moment from the finals below.