By Harrison LaLone, Sports Information Student Assistant
Alma, Mich. - When it was all said and done, the Alma College men's soccer team came within one goal of qualifying for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament in 2017, marking the first time Alma has missed the tournament since the 2013 season.
Despite a rocky start to the 2017 campaign, the second half of the MIAA regular season was the turning point for the Scots. Starting with a road trip to Albion College on Oct. 7, Alma picked up three victories en route to a final-game showdown with Trine University for the fourth spot in the conference tournament. The Scots fell just short of the tournament after a gruelling double-overtime affair in Angola in which they needed a win but returned with a tie.
Head Coach Josh Oakley fielded the youngest team of his seven-year tenure at Alma College in 2017, with eight sophomores starting seven or more contests. Leading the group was sophomore midfielders Noah Canlas (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) and Tanner Parrett (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores). The two combined for 45 percent of the team's points and all three game-winning goals.
The defense was anchored by two-time All-MIAA second teamer and senior captain Sam Falardeau (Mason, Mich./Mason) and sophomore goalkeeper Garrison Mast (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven). Mast posted the most saves in the MIAA (92) and was third in save percentage (.773) while Falardeau orchestrated the defense to a 1.58 goals against average in 2017.