Charlie Adams Named To Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team, Three Others Honorable Mention

Posted on November 12th, 2015 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – Four Gustavus Adolphus College men’s soccer players were recognized in the 2015 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) men’s soccer postseason awards that were released Thursday by the league office. Senior midfielder Charlie Adams (Stillwater, Minn.) was honored as an All-Conference selection for the second straight season, while fellow seniors Eli Bjerk (Stillwater, Minn.), Patrick Leach (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Sam Leske (Hampton, Minn.) were named to the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team.

Adams is the 11th player to receive All-Conference honors under the direction of Coach Mike Middleton who just finished his sixth season at the helm of the men’s soccer program. This season, Adams was one of just two Gusties to start and play in all 17 of the Black and Gold’s games, and he finished the season with three points off three assists. Over the course of his career, Adams started in 73-of-78 games he played in and scored 18 total points off three goals and 12 assists.

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Eli Bjerk

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Charlie Adams

“Charlie is perhaps one of the most talented central midfield players both in the region and nationally,” said Middleton. “He lit up many games with ability on the ball and silky touch. Charlie is as good as anyone you’d wish to see in the country at this level when in possession. We saw a referee this year actually stop a match in order to tell the opposition that the next person to foul Charlie would be carded. That was a first in 30-plus years of coaching and speaks volumes for Charlie’s ability to, at times, mesmerize opponents. All season, opponents had to have a plan just to deal with Charlie – he’s held in the highest regard by all the coaches.

We’ve had three NSCAA and four D3soccer.com All-Americans the last four years,” Middleton continued. “By missing out on the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years this season, Charlie almost certainly will miss out on any All-American accolades. However, in my opinion, Charlie may be the most talented player of them all. It’s been a real privilege having him as part of the program and he’s also the nicest lad you’d ever want to meet!”

In addition to Adams being named All-Conference, Bjerk, Leach, and Leske earned places on the All-MIAC Honorable Mention Team.

Bjerk started in 16 of the Gustie’s 17 games and led the team in assists with eight and tied for the MIAC-lead in that category as well. The Stillwater, Minnesota native finished his season with 12 points off two goals (both were game-winners) and eight assists, and tied the school record for assists in a single game when he tallied three against Bethany Lutheran on Oct. 19.

“Like his best mate Charlie, Eli is also very clever in possession,” said Middleton. “When those two were in full flight, the team was a sight to behold, as they were each clever, creative, and consummately skilled. At times they were awesome, dominating play and looking so comfortable in possession. Eli rarely made a mistake on the ball and at times, it was like watching Xavi and Iniesta. As a soccer aficionado, it’s tough to beat a tandem of Charlie and Eli as ball-playing midfield players – they were terrific together.”

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Patrick Leach

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Sam Leske

Leach, a defender, was also a consistent starter for the Gusties this season, starting in 16-of-17 games for the Black and Gold. He notched seven points off three goals and an assist, and scored the game-winner in the championship game of the Gustavus Classic on Sept. 4 against St. Norbert.

“A big, powerful, no-nonsense central defender, Patrick was an absolute pillar of the defense the last couple of seasons,” said Middleton. “Exceptional in the air, he was always a threat at set-plays and with pace to burn. He was difficult to play against for any opponent – he’s as hard as nails. Patrick drove the team forward with his personality and drive to perform; he was an exceptional player and a great lad, who will be sorely missed.”

Leske, Leach’s fellow defender, was the second Gustie to start in all 17 of Gustavus’s games this year. He tallied a goal and an assist on the season, with his goal being the game-winner in the Gusties’ 7-0 victory over Bethany Lutheran.

“Sam is a wonderful athlete who could run all day and did,” said Middleton. “His surging runs up the sideline were a sight to behold, and a huge feature of our play. Always looking to get forward, he was energetic, skillful, and powerful. He was named as the tournament MVP at our own Gustavus Classic, and played especially well in our 2-0 win against St. Norbert, a team that went on to win their own conference title later in the year. Sam had an excellent season once again, and as a four-year starter, he’ll be difficult to replace both on and off the field.”

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 10th-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. Representing Gustavus on this season’s team is sophomore forward Matt Murakami (Eden Prairie, Minn.).

MIAC Release

 

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