INDIANAPOLIS – UIC senior midfielder Manny Chavez was voted the Horizon League Player of the Year in voting of the League’s 10 head coaches.
Teammate Jorge Alvarez along with Oakland sophomore Austin Ricci were named Co-Offensive Players of the Year while Cleveland State’s Sergio Manesio was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year. Nico Campbell earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors for the Crusaders as Wright State’s Jackson Dietrich was voted Freshman of the Year.
UIC head coach Sean Phillips took home Coach of the Year accolades in voting by his peers as the Flames captured their second regular season title in the past three years this season.
Chavez alongside Alvarez led the League in points and points-per-game as they both accumulated 11 during conference action for a 1.22 average. Chavez leads the League in assists with five and assists per-game with a .56 average. Thus far on the season, Chavez has tallied 16 points on five goals and six assists for the Flames which is tied for first in the League.
Alvarez tops the conference in shots with 43 total and a 4.78 average per game while being at the top of the pack in goals with four. Of those four goals in League play, two of them have been game-winning goals which is also tied for League-most.
Fellow Offensive Player of the Year, Ricci, has netted three goals and tallied one assist in League play for a .88 points per game and a .38 goals per game average. The sophomore is also among the top of the conference in shots per game with a 2.75 average after firing off 22 in eight contests.
Cleveland State’s Manesio has been a solid presence for the Vikings on the back line this season. Cleveland State only gave up eight goals during conference play while tallying four shutouts.
Campbell earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors after posting a .72 goal against average in net this year for the Crusaders while making 37 saves in his nine League contests. In addition, Campbell averaged 4.11 saves per game and held a .841 save percentage in goal for Valparaiso.
Wright State’s Dietrich scored one goal and tabbed two assists during his conference season debut. The freshman held a .333 shots-on-goal percentage while taking a total of 12 shots in his nine League games.
Many familiar faces joined Chavez, Alvarez, Ricci, Manesio and Campbell on the All-League First Team. Last season’s Freshman of the Year, Spiro Pliakos represented Detroit while 2015 Player of the Year, Wright State’s Eric Lynch also made the Team. Oakland’s Matt Dudley, the Raider’s Peguy Ngatcha and UIC’s Thomas Villamil return to the First Team after being awarded the honors just one year ago. Detroit’s Austin Dunn capped off the 11 member squad.
The Second Team featured three Oakland student-athletes in Shawn Claud Lawson, Raphael Reynolds and Jake VanderLann. Belmont was represented by Rashad Hyacenth and Anthony Torres while Cleveland State slotted Jake Lagania and Dan Koniarczyk on the Team. Detroit’s Tyler Moorman, Valparaiso’s Isiah Madrid, Green Bay’s Audi Jepson, Wright State’s Sam Deroy and Northern Kentucky’s AJ Fleak completed the Second Team honorees.
Dietrich led the All-Freshman Team as he was joined by teammate Eric Hutton and Milwaukee’s Tinashe Marowa and Francesco Saporito. Gianluca DiFranco of Cleveland State took a spot while UIC’s Max Todd and Mike Jimenez and Belmont’s Dennis Kluba gathered accolades as well. Finishing out the group was Oakland’s Nick Strack and Northern Kentucky’s Bastian Beckers.
The Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship begins tonight with two Quarterfinal contests. No. 3 seeded Northern Kentucky hosts No. 6 Wright State at 7:00 p.m. ET while No. 4 seed Cleveland State hosts No. 5 seed Detroit at 7:00 p.m. ET. Both Quarterfinal contests will be streamed on ESPN3.
The tournament will move to UIC for the semifinals and finals beginning on Thursday, Nov. 12. The first semifinal will feature No. 2 Oakland who will face the highest remaining seed at 5:30 p.m. ET, with No. 1 UIC squaring off against the lowest remaining seed at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Championship match will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET
2015 Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Manny Chavez, UIC
Co-Offensive Players of the Year: Austin Ricci, Oakland & Jorge Alvarez, UI
Defensive Player of the Year: Sergio Manesio, Cleveland State
Goalkeeper of the Year: Nico Campbell, Valparaiso
Freshman of the Year: Jackson Dietrich, Wright State
Coach of the Year: Sean Phillips, UIC
Spiro Pliakos, Detroit (So., F)
Austin Ricci, Oakland (So., F)
Jorge Alvarez, UIC (Sr., F)
Peguy Ngatcha, Wright State (Sr., F)
Matt Dudley, Oakland (Sr., MF)
Manny Chavez, UIC (Sr., MF)
Eric Lynch, Wright State (Sr., MF)
Sergio Manesio, Cleveland State (Jr., D)
Austin Dunn, Detroit ( Sr., D)
Thomas Villamil, UIC (Sr., D)
Nico Campbell, Valparaiso (Jr., GK)
Rashad Hyacenth, Belmont (So., F)
Jake Lagania, Cleveland State (So, F)
Tyler Moorman, Detroit (Jr., F)
Isiah Madrid, Valparaiso (Jr., F)
Dan Koniarczyk, Cleveland State (Jr., MF)
Audi Jepson, Green Bay (Jr., MF)
Shawn Claud Lawson, Oakland (Sr., MF)
Sam Deroy, Wright State (Jr., MF)
Anthony Torres, Belmont (Sr., D)
Raphael Reynolds, Oakland (Sr., D)
Jake VanderLann, Oakland (Sr., D)
AJ Fleak, Northern Kentucky (Sr., GK)
Gianluca DiFranco, Cleveland State (F)
Tinashe Marowa, Milwaukee (F)
Max Todd, UIC (F)
Dennis Kluba, Belmont (MF)
Francesco Saporito, Milwaukee (MF)
Bastian Beckers, Northern Kentucky (MF)
Nestor Garcia, UIC (MF)
Jackson Dietrich, Wright State (MF)
Nick Strack, Oakland (D)
Mike Jimenez, UIC (D)
Eric Hutton, Wright State (D)