G sweeps POY and Frosh POY awards, several all-conference performers. Complete travesty Maullin not elected COY.
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Southern Conference men’s soccer regular-season champion UNCG had a league-best seven all-conference selections and saw Jacques Francois named SoCon Player of the Year and Leeroy Maguraushe named Freshman of the Year in voting of the league’s six head coaches. VMI’s Alex Guerra was named Goalkeeper of the Year and Furman’s Doug Allison claimed Coach of the Year honors.
The SoCon’s head coaches voted on a pair of all-conference teams, an all-freshman team and the four individual awards. They were not allowed to vote for themselves or their own players. The all-conference first team consists of 11 student-athletes, while the second team and all-freshman team consist of 12 each because of ties in the voting.
UNCG had three first-team and four second-team all-conference selections, adding a pair of all-freshman picks. Mercer was close behind with six all-conference picks, putting three each on the first and second teams, while ETSU, Furman and Wofford had three all-conference selections each and VMI had one. Furman and Wofford led the SoCon with three all-freshman picks each.
The Spartans’ Francois leads the league in scoring this season with 26 points on eight goals and a league-leading 10 assists. The senior forward from Port Au Prince, Haiti, has scored at least one point in six of his last seven contests, highlighted by an eight-point day against VMI in which he scored three goals and dished off two assists. Francois, who was the SoCon player of the month for October and player of the week for Nov. 3, has helped the Spartans to their eighth regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship. Francois becomes UNCG’s first SoCon Player of the Year since Randi Patterson won the award in 2004 and 2005.
Maguraushe joined Francois on the all-conference first team, as the rookie midfielder is fourth in the league in scoring this season with 18 points on eight goals and two assists. His eight goals are tied with Francois for second in the SoCon. Maguraushe made an immediate impact for the Spartans this season, as the Milton Keynes, England, native scored the game-winning goal in double overtime as UNCG downed Virginia Tech 1-0 in its season opener. Maguraushe scored twice against North Florida and then four times in a three-game span late in the season to help the Spartans lock up the regular-season title. Maguraushe is UNCG’s first Freshman of the Year since Matt Smith in 2004.
VMI’s Guerra leads the nation in total saves with 127 and saves per game with 6.68 per contest. The senior from Vicenza, Italy, is also the NCAA Division I active leader in career saves per game at 6.00 per match. This season, Guerra posted at least seven saves in 12 matches, highlighted by a season-high 12 in a 2-1 loss to Virginia Tech. Guerra played 1,683 minutes in net for the Keydets this season, facing 424 shots, 206 of which were on goal. He is the first VMI keeper to win the award, which was introduced last season.
Furman’s Allison was named Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career and first since 2007. The Paladin skipper, in his 21st year at the helm, led Furman to a runner-up SoCon finish and the No. 2 seed in the league tournament. Allison has guided Furman to a 7-5-4 overall mark and a 6-2-2 league record this year and has put his team in the SoCon semifinals for the 17th time in his career. With 266 career wins and 107 SoCon wins, Allison is the conference’s all-time leader in both categories.
Joining UNCG’s Francois and Maguraushe on the all-conference first team was teammate Hugo Coicaud, who earned a spot at defender. The Spartans’ Damieon Thomas (forward) Matteo Busio (midfielder), Nicholas Downs (defender) and Jordan Poarch (defender) were second-team picks, while Maguraushe and Busio were all-freshman selections.
Mercer put forward Will Bagrou, midfielder Jordan Duru and defender Ian Antley on the first team, while midfielder Conner Antley, defender Airrion Blackstock and keeper Jeremy Booth earned second-team distinction. Kobe Perez was an all-freshman pick for the Bears.
ETSU was the only other team with multiple first-team honorees, as the Bucs’ Fletcher Ekern (forward) and James Smith (midfielder) were named to the squad. Keeper Jonny Sutherland was a second-team selection, while Sutherland and Christian Ilia earned spots on the all-freshman squad.
Furman midfielder Adrian McInnis and Wofford defender Connor Davis join VMI’s Guerra in rounding out the first team.
The Paladins put a pair of players on the second team in forward Lewis Hawke and midfielder Eli Pinner, while Wofford matched its rival with second-team selections Matthew Aurednik (forward) and Will Puckett (midfielder).
Furman’s Josiah Baker, Dalton Souder and Noah Teplitzky; VMI’s Grant Austin; and Wofford’s Jonathan Dean, Connor Donohue and Kyle Nelson complete the all-freshman team.
UNCG, Furman, Mercer and ETSU, the top four seeds, respectively, have advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, which will take place at ETSU’s Summers-Taylor Stadium in Johnson City, Tenn., starting Friday at 3:30 p.m. Both matches will appear live on the SoCon Digital Network. The championship match will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
2015 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Jacques Francois, Sr., F, UNCG
Goalkeeper of the Year – Alex Guerra, Sr., VMI
Coach of the Year – Doug Allison, Furman
Freshman of the Year – Leeroy Maguraushe, MF, UNCG
F Fletcher Ekern, ETSU
F Will Bagrou, Mercer
F Jacques Francois, UNCG
MF James Smith, ETSU
MF Adrian McInnis, Furman
MF Jordan Duru, Mercer
MF Leeroy Maguraushe, UNCG
D Ian Antley, Mercer
D Hugo Coicaud, UNCG
D Connor Davis, Wofford
GK Alex Guerra, VMI
F Lewis Hawke, Furman
F Damieon Thomas, UNCG
F Matthew Aurednik, Wofford
MF Eli Pinner, Furman
MF Conner Antley, Mercer
MF Matteo Busio, UNCG
MF Will Puckett, Wofford
D Airrion Blackstock, Mercer
D Nicholas Downs, UNCG
D Jordan Poarch, UNCG
GK Jonny Sutherland, ETSU
GK Jeremy Booth, Mercer
Christian Ilia, ETSU
Jonny Sutherland, ETSU
Josiah Baker, Furman
Dalton Souder, Furman
Noah Teplitzky, Furman
Kobe Perez, Mercer
Matteo Busio, UNCG
Leeory Maguraushe, UNCG
Grant Austin, VMI
Jonathan Dean, Wofford
Connor Donohue, Wofford
Kyle Nelson, Wofford