PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The University of Connecticut men’s soccer team scored a handful of major conference awards on Thursday, as four players received Player of the Year accolades, while the UConn staff was tabbed as the Coaching Staff of the Year. Four Huskies received All-Conference honors and three Connecticut players earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team.
Sophomore forward Cyle Larin (Brampton, Ontario) was named the American Offensive Player of the Year, and senior defender Sergio Campbell (Clarendon, Jamaica) was recognized as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. The two other UConn players to take home major awards were Adria Beso Marco (Lleida, Spain), who won Midfielder of the Year honors for the second straight season, and freshman midfielder Cheikh Stephane Coly (Dakar, Senegal), the 2014 Conference Rookie of the Year.
Connecticut head coach Ray Reid and his staff were given the Coaching Staff of the Year award after leading the Huskies to their 13th-ever conference regular season title and the top overall seed in the American Athletic Tournament. UConn (10-6-2, 6-1-1 American) won its final six conference games and finished the regular season first in goals against average (0.36) and shutouts (5).
Larin, the 2013 American Rookie of the Year, ranks first in the conference in game-winners (3), goals per game (0.60) and points per game (1.40). The Connecticut striker has tallied a team-leading 21 points on nine goals and three assists in 2014, and his goals per game mark is the 8th-best among Division I players. Larin was also named to the All-Conference First Team on Thursday.
Campbell anchored a Connecticut defense that finished league play with the least goals (3) conceded. The Huskies recorded five shutouts against American Athletic opponents this season, and UConn has allowed just one goal in its last four matches. The Clarendon, Jamaica, who was named the Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year back in August, was one of three Huskies to be named to the All-Conference First Team this year.
Beso Marco played a pivotal role in the UConn midfield this year, finishing the regular season third on the team in goals (3) and fourth in points (8). He netted his first career game-winner in overtime against Yale (Oct. 28), and he posted a season-high two assists in Connecticut’s 5-0 quarterfinal win over Temple last Saturday. The Husky midfielder has started each of UConn’s 18 matches this season, and he joined Larin and Campbell on this season’s All-Conference First Team.
Coly turned in a solid freshman season at UConn, providing great defense in the midfield throughout the year. The Dakar, Senegal native, who started all of the Huskies’ matches this season, helped Connecticut tally eight shutouts this fall and he finished his first year in Storrs with two points on one goal. He was a unanimous All-Rookie Team selection along with freshman center back Elliott Ackroyd (Nottingham, England) and left back Dylan Greenberg (Dix Hills, N.Y.).
Ackroyd started each match this year for a Husky team that is unbeaten in nine of its last 10 matches. Greenberg finished his freshman campaign with two points, and he was one of six UConn players to tally a game-winner this year.
Right back Jakob Nerwinski (Lawrenceville, N.J.) earned Second Team All-Conference honors after a tremendous sophomore season for the Huskies. He finished with the third-most assists (3) on the team and his seven points on the year ranked fifth on UConn. The Connecticut defender scored his first career goal in the Huskies’ win over Seattle (Sept. 14), and he notched the game-winner in UConn’s 2-1 victory over No. 24 SMU on Oct. 25.
Connecticut returns to action tomorrow night in an American Athletic Conference Semifinal match set for 8 p.m. at Morrone Stadium. For a preview of the game click HERE.
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