For the first time in program history, the Eastern Mennonite men’s soccer team has landed three players on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State First Team.
Forward Mitchell Leap (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) earns his first All-State First Team award after being named to the Second Team in both 2008 and 2009. The senior scored 10 goals this fall, which was third-best in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, and had 23 total points, tied for second in the ODAC. He had five game-winning goals during the regular season, which led the league. Leap leaves the EMU program fourth in Career Goals with 35 and fifth in Career Points with 80.
Fellow senior Kevin Chico (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) dominated the midfield to earn his All-State First Team nod. Chico had three goals and one assist. He also scored the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Virginia Wesleyan, which was the men’s first win over the powerful Marlins since the 1998 ODAC Championship Game.
Ryan Eshleman (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) was named First Team as a defender. The junior was a key ball-controller in the back line and routinely beat opposing forwards to long passes before pushing the ball up on offense.
All three players were also named All-ODAC First Team earlier this fall.
In 2009, EMU put two men on the All-State First Team. In 2008, four Royals were honored by the VaSID, with all of them on the Second Team.
The Royals tied with Roanoke for the best ODAC record during the regular season and also tied the program mark for most ODAC wins in a season with seven. They were upset in the conference semifinals by Lynchburg, 2-1.
Christopher Newport University swept the top player awards with the release of the 2011 College Division Men’s Soccer All-State Team, as voted on by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID). Senior forward Brian Lybert earned the Player of the Year honor for the second straight year and his teammate Jalon Brown was voted Rookie of the Year. Voted the State Coach of the Year was Randolph College’s Bryan Waggoner, who led the WildCats to the round of 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Lybert, the 2011 USA South Player of the Year, led the Captains to a 17-1-1 record and a No. 1 national ranking in the polls during the regular season for the third straight year. Lybert finished his career at CNU as the program’s all-time leader in assists. This past season he ranked third in the nation in assists per game and sixth in the nation in total assists with 13.
Brown started every game for the Captains in his first season and earned first-team USA South honors. He scored 11 points during the season on four goals and three assists.
Waggoner led the WildCats to an 18-5 overall record and the college’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in any sport. Randolph advanced to the NCAA round of 16 in just the fifth year of the program’s existence.
Christopher Newport led the voting with seven picks on the All-State team, including four First-Team choices. Eastern Mennonite, Hampden-Sydney and Randolph College placed three players each on the All-State team. Lybert and Hampden-Sydney’s Nick DeProspero were repeat selections on the First Team.
COACH OF THE YEAR, Bryan Waggoner, Randolph
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Brian Lybert, Christopher Newport
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – Jalon Brown, Christopher Newport
F – Brian Lybert, Christopher Newport
F – Corey Sindle, Randolph
F - Mitchell Leap, Eastern Mennonite
M – Jalon Brown, Christopher Newport
M – Nick DeProspero, Hampden-Sydney
M – Drew Claytor, Roanoke
M – Kevin Chico, Eastern Mennonite
D – Sean Moriarity, Christopher Newport
D – Ryan Eshleman, Eastern Mennonite
D – Curran Blackwell, Hampden-Sydney
GK – Justin Wolfe, Christopher Newport
F – Winston Mattheisen, Christopher Newport
F – Brian White, Roanoke
F – Josh Smith, Southern Virginia
F – Bryan Wharton, Hampden-Sydney
M – Nick Cornell, Randolph
M – Kevin Gorman, Bridgewater
M – Brian Sims, Mary Washington
M – Steven Farmer, Christopher Newport
D – Josh Thrower, Averett
D – Basil Richter, Washington and Lee
D – Will Wolf, Randolph
D – David Hass, Christopher Newport
GK – Michael Releford, Lynchburg
(tie in voting for final forward and defender spot)