WILTON, Conn. – Three University of Connecticut men’s soccer players have been honored by Soccer America, as announced by the organization on Tuesday. Forward Cyle Larin (Brampton, Ontario) was named to the Soccer America Men’s MVPs Second Team, while first-year starters, goalkeeper Scott Levene (Stamford, Conn.) and Cheikh Stephane Coly (Dakar, Senegal), earned All-Freshman Second Team honors.
Larin, a 2013 Soccer America All-Freshman Team selection, led the Husky offensive attack for the second straight season this past year, totaling 21 points on nine goals and a three assists. He finished first in the American Athletic Conference in game-winners (3), goals per game (0.56) and points per game (1.31) for a UConn team that captured its 13th-ever conference regular season title in 2014. His 1.31 points per contest also ranked 28th nationally, and he was 41st among Division I players in total goals.
The Brampton, Ontario native recently announced his decision to enter the MLS SuperDraft after finishing his career in Storrs with 52 points on 23 goals and six assists. The striker is expected to be a top pick in this week’s draft, as he looks to join Andre Blake and Chris Gbandi as the two other Huskies to be picked No. 1 overall throughout the tenure of men’s soccer coach Ray Reid.
Levene shined in his first season between the posts for Connecticut after redshirting as a freshman in 2013. He tallied a shutout in each of his first three starts for the Huskies, and finished the year with eight clean sheets and a record of 8-1-2.
His goals against average (0.518) ranked first in the conference and fourth nationally, and he boasted the 15th-best save percentage (.833) among Division I keepers. The Stamford native was named the Conference Goalkeeper of the Week twice throughout the season, and his 0.51 goals against average stands as the nine-best mark for a Connecticut keeper in a season in program history.
Coly was tabbed as the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year after starting each of UConn’s 19 games in 2014. He tied a team-best with two points on one goal this past fall, tallying his first career points against Stony Brook (Sept. 1), and he also earned a spot on the league All-Rookie Team.
The Connecticut true freshman provided excellent defense in the midfield for a Husky team that allowed a league-low three goals in conference play. The Huskies finished the year with nine shutouts and they didn’t allow a goal in each of their final four games of the year.
“I am very pleased with Cyle, Scott and Cheikh being recognized,” Reid said.
Last year, four UConn players were honored by Soccer America, and there have been two Connecticut standouts that earned Player of the Year honors from the publication since the award began in 1984. Gbandi received the accolade in 2000, while forward O’Brian White took home the award in 2007.
Both Huskies played under Reid, who will be honored as the 2014 NSCAA East Regional Coach of the Year on Thursday prior to the MLS SuperDraft. The 26-year head coach reached his 400th career win this past season in a 3-1 win over Temple on Oct. 22, 2014.