St. Paul – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released its 2012 Men’s Soccer Awards on Thursday afternoon, naming four Gustavus Adolphus student-athletes to this year’s All-Conference team.
Senior Lucas Thompson (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and sophomores Zach Brown (Eau Claire, Wis.), David Lilly (Maple Grove, Minn.), and Brett Ylonen (Lake Elmo, Minn.) all earned a spot on the All-Conference Team, while juniors Zach Schmith (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Sean Sendelbach (Sioux Falls, S.D.) took home Honorable Mention All-MIAC honors. Sophomore Eric Schneider (St. Anthony, Minn.) was named Gustavus’ representative on the 2012 All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
St. Thomas junior Nick Rapisarda was voted the 2012 MIAC Men’s Soccer Player-of-the-Year after leading the league in goals and points in conference play and helping the Tommies to a conference Playoff bid. Carleton’s Bob Carlson was voted the 2012 MIAC Men’s Soccer Coach-of-the-Year after guiding the Knights to a near-perfect regular-season campaign, including a share of the conference title and a runner-up finish in the postseason tournament.
This season’s All-Conference team featured a large contingency of sophomores and juniors. Only two seniors were honored, with 11 juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen rounding out the All-MIAC team. Co-champs Carleton and Gustavus tied for the most selections with four apiece, while St. Thomas and St. Olaf each placed three players on the squad. Saint John’s and Augsburg both had two players honored, and Macalester and Saint Mary’s each placed one player on the All-Conference team.
Senior defender Lucas Thompson makes this third consecutive appearance on the All-Conference this season. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native is the first Gustie to earn All-MIAC marks three times in a career since Bobby Kroog did so in 2003, 2004, and 2005. A staple of Gustavus’ back line for the past four seasons, Thompson has started in all 19 games and leads the team in minutes played this season. Although the captain’s statline – one point on one assist – wont jump off the page, it is Thompson’s solid and consistence presence at center back that stands out. Gustavus has allowed just 11 goals on the year for a team goals against average of 0.58, ranking the Gusties 16th in NCAA Division III.
Last season saw Gustavus’ big three freshman, Zach Brown, David Lilly, and Brett Ylonen earn All-MIAC Honorable Mention recognition. This year as sophomores, those three earn All-Conference accolades for the first time.
Striker Zach Brown is the club’s leading scorer for the second straight season, tallying 31 points off of 14 goals and three assists. His point total ranks 52nd in the nation and fourth in the MIAC, while his 14 goals rank 33rd in the country and second in the league. A threat to score whenever the ball is on his foot, Brown has scored a league-best seven game-winning goals thus far. Brown has played in all 19 matches and has also logged over 1,000 minutes.
The commanding general of the Gustavus midfield, David Lilly draws attention from defenders whenever on possession. Lilly ranks third on the team in scoring with 11 points off of one goal and a team-best nine assists. His nine dimes rank third in the MIAC and 29th in the nation. Lilly has also started in all 19 matches and boasts over 1,300 minutes played. The Maple Grove, Minn. product scored the game-winning goal in what was a critical regional win over North Park on Sept. 7, and contributed the assist on five game-winning goals.
Goalkeeper Brett Ylonen has been a consistent wall in the Gustavus goal throughout all 19 matches this year. The Lake Elmo, Minn. native is currently 14-2-2 overall with an .892 save percentage and a 0.47 goals against average. Ylonen’s save percentage ranks sixth in the country and first in the MIAC, while his goals against average ranks 14th in the nation and second in the conference. Since a 2-0 win over Bethel on Oct. 5, Ylonen has yet to allow a goal in over 750 minutes of regulation and overtime soccer. He holds an 8-0-0 record within that time.
Zach Schmith and Sean Sendelbach take home Honorable Mention All-MIAC recognition for the first time in their careers. Schmith, a starter in all 19 of Gustavus’ matches, has been on the pitch for over 1,000 minutes and is a key component of the squad’s powerful defensive unit. His one goal this year came against Macalester in the final match of the season. The goal allowed the Gusties a 1-0 win and a share of the MIAC Championship, their first since 2007. Sendelbach, who is also on the field for seemingly every minute of every match, has recorded two assists this season, one of which was on the game-winner against Hamline in early October. Sean, who is a nursing major with a 3.88 GPA, also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors recently and will be eligible for Academic All-America distinction later this month.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the seventh-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men’s soccer. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.
Sophomore Eric Schneider serves as Gustavus’ representative on the All-Sportsmanship team. Schneider has played in all 19 matches and has one goal on the season.