The Kenyon senior duo of midfielder David Anderson (Urbana, IL/Urbana) and defender Bret Lowry (Evanston, IL/Evanston Township), along with Wittenberg senior forward Alberto Zaragoza (New Carlisle, OH/Tecumseh) were named the Players of the Year to highlight the 2018 All-North Coast Athletic Conference men’s soccer selections.
Zaragoza, who is a first-time All-NCAC first-team selection, earned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award. The senior tallied a league-leading 14 goals to go along with two assists for an NCAC-best 30 total points in regular-season matches. He netted four game-winning goals, including a score in the 83rd minute to earn a 2-1 win over Wooster on Oct. 6. and two goals and an assist in a 5-1 victory over Hiram on Oct. 27.
Anderson, a first-time All-NCAC selection on the top team this year after claiming second-team honors last season, was tabbed as the league’s Midfielder of the Year after being a strong presence in the Lords’ midfield all season. In Kenyon’s nine regular-season conference matches, Anderson tallied 13 points on six goals and one assist, while totalling 26 overall points (12 G, 2 A). The Lords allowed just 10 goals in 19 games for a 0.51 goals-against-average.
Lowry, who collected his fourth All-NCAC citation and his second honor as a member of the first team, was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year. The senior and his backline bolstered a defense that allowed just five goals in 836:08 minutes of action for a 0.54 goals-against-average in conference play. He and his teammates held NCAC opponents to an average of just 2.55 shots-on-goal per game, while holding eight overall opponents to two or less shots-on-goal this season.
Three student-athletes elevated to the first team after collecting second-team honors in 2017, including DePauw senior defender Andrew Gold (Columbus, IN/Columbus North), who also claimed first team honors in 2016, Kenyon senior forward Brice Koval (Crested Butte, CO/Worcester Academy (MA)), and Oberlin senior midfiedler Trenton Bulucea (Cleveland Heights, OH/University School), who also earned honorable mention accolades in 2016.
Ohio Wesleyan junior midfielder Brady Whittekind (Hilliard, OH/Bradley), the 2016 Newcomer of the Year, was honored with his third All-NCAC certificate after collecting honorable-mention laurels in both 2016 and 2017. Four additional players make their All-NCAC debut on the 2018 first team, including Denison senior defender David Jaben (Waynesville, NC/Carolina Day School), Wabash junior defender Michael Tanchevski (Crown Point, IN/Crown Point) and sophomore goalkeeper Chad Wunderlich (St. Louis, MO/John Burroughs School), and Wooster junior midfielder Max Rochester (Chicago, IL/Univ. of Chicago Laboratory).
Ohio Wesleyan freshman forward Hector Gomez (Columbus, OH/St. Francis DeSales) was named the 2018 NCAC Men’s Soccer Newcomer of the Year as the league’s top player in his first year of collegiate competition. The rookie recorded 17 points after netting six goals, two game-winners, and adding five assists. Gomez tallied the game-winning goal in a 2-1 semifinal victory over Denison on Oct. 31 and netted the first goal of the game in a 3-0 victory over Capital on Sept. 26. He was selected to the All-NCAC second team in his first year of collegiate play.
Finally, Kenyon head coach Chris Brown was named the NCAC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year for the second time in his 14-year career in Gambier. He led the Lords to their second-consecutive undefeated season in conference play with an 8-0-1 mark. Brown’s squad will enter the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-straight season, and seventh time in the last nine years, after capturing the 2018 NCAC regular season and tournament titles.