INDIANAPOLIS -- Wright State sophomore midfielder Eric Lynch has been named the Horizon League Men’s Soccer Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, in voting of the League’s coaches.
Lynch has been the catalyst for the Wright State offense this season and leads the Horizon League in assists (12), assists per game (0.67) and shares the top-spot in points with 22. The sophomore is also near the top of several other individual categories including shots (47), goals (5), points per game (1.22) and shots per game (2.61). Lynch is the first Wright State player to garner Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year accolades.
Detroit junior goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher led the Titans to a share of the regular season title to earn Goalkeeper of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. In net for Detroit, Steinwascher topped the League in saves (69), shutouts (7), save percentage (.812) and shutouts per games (.41). In addition, the junior ranked second in goals against average (.89) and saves per game (4.06).
His teammate, Spiro Pliakos, keyed the offensive attack for Detroit to take home Freshman of the Year accolades. Pliakos launched 53 shots at opponents this season to tally a 3.12 shots per game average ranking second in the League. The freshman was third in points with 15 during the regular season and also points per game (.88).
Oakland collected its first-ever Horizon League regular season title, sharing the top-spot with the Titans, in just the program’s second year in the conference. The Golden Grizzlies’ head coach Eric Pogue was tabbed the League’s Coach of the Year by his peers.
Oakland slotted three players on the First Team with forward Joey Tinnion and midfielders Matt Dudley and Shawn Claud Lawson. In addition to Lynch, the Raiders added two more to the squad with forward Peguy Ngatcha and defender Emeka Ononye.
Milwaukee midfielder Laurie Bell and defender Luke Goodnetter earned recognition while UIC defender Thomas Villamil rounded out the First Team honorees.
The Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship begins Monday, Nov. 10, when No. 3 Wright State hosts No. 6 Milwaukee at 7 p.m. ET and No. 4 Cleveland State welcomes No. 5 Valparaiso at 7 p.m. ET. Oakland will meet against the lowest remaining seed while No. 2 Detroit will take on the highest remaining team in the semifinals, which kick off at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13. The Championship match will contest at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 15. Oakland will be the host for the semifinals and finals and each game will be carried live on the Horizon League Network at HorizonLeague.com
2014 Men’s Soccer Awards
Player of the Year: Eric Lynch, Wright State
Freshman of the Year: Spiro Pliakos, Detroit
Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Lynch, Wright State
Defensive Player of the Year: Nathan Steinwascher, Detroit
Goalkeeper of the Year: Nathan Steinwascher, Detroit
Coach of the Year: Eric Pogue, Oakland
First Team All-League
Spiro Pliakos, Detroit (Fr., F)
Joey Tinnion, Oakland (Sr., F)
Peguy Ngatcha, Wright State (So., F)
Laurie Bell, Milwaukee (Sr., MF)
Matt Dudley, Oakland (Jr., MF)
Shawn Claud Lawson, Oakland (Jr., MF)
Eric Lynch, Wright State (So., MF)
Luke Goodnetter, Milwaukee (Sr., D)
Thomas Villamil, UIC (Jr., D)
Emeka Ononye, Wright State (Sr., D)
Nathan Steinwascher, Detroit (Jr., GK)
Second Team All-League
Sergio Manesio, Cleveland State (So., F)
Lawrence Talery, Green Bay (Sr., F)
Jorge Alvarez, UIC (Jr., F)
Jesus Torres, UIC (Sr., F)
Matt Ybarra, Detroit (Sr., MF)
Declan Rodriguez, Milwaukee (Jr., MF)
Zev Taublieb, Valparaiso (Sr., MF)
Trevor Flynn, Detroit (Sr., D)
Cody Archibald, Oakland (Sr., D)
Omar Lawrence, Valparaiso (So., D)
Wes Mink, Oakland (Fr., GK)
Rashad Hyacenth, Belmont (F)
Spiro Pliakos, Detroit (F)
Reid Stevenson, Milwaukee (F)
Petter Ingebrigtsen, Milwaukee (F)
Alec Nagucki, Cleveland State (MF)
Sidney McClain, Green Bay (MF)
Nick Moon, Milwaukee (MF)
Jose Fuentes, UIC (MF)
Ramone Howell, Valparaiso (MF)
Kevin Blackwood, Cleveland State (D)
Austin Polster, Wright State (D)
Wes Mink, Oakland (GK)