-- Four men’s soccer standouts and a coaching staff all striving for an
America East Championship have been honored with annual conference
awards, as decided in a vote by the league’s head coaches and announced
today. Freshman Michael Bustamante (Chelsea, Mass./Chelsea) from Boston
University earned Midfielder and Rookie of the Year honors, becoming
just the fourth player in league history to earn multiple end-of-year
awards in the same season. The Terriers’ coaching staff, led by
longtime mentor Neil Roberts, received Coaching Staff of the Year
recognition. University at Albany’s Claudio Dantas (Orlando,
Fla./Crystal Lake/Jefferson College) and Steward Ceus (West Haverstraw,
N.Y./North Rockland), two vital pieces to the Great Danes’ nine-win
turnaround, garnered Striker and Goalkeeper of the Year accolades.
University of Vermont’s Connor Tobin (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins)
was named Defender of the Year after leading a defense that allowed
just three goals in conference play.
Bustamante, who earned America East Rookie of the Week honors on October 13, finished the regular season tied for third among league leaders with eight assists, including a league-best five in America East play. He added two goals for 12 points, which ranked second on Boston U. Bustamante joins Matt Watson (UMBC ‘07), New Hampshire’s Chris Banks and Vermont’s Lee Stephane Kouadio as the only players to earn multiple accolades in the same season.
Roberts, who is in his 24th season as head coach, led Boston University to its ninth regular-season title during his tenure. Roberts and his Terriers, who are unbeaten over their last seven games with six victories during that span, are in search of their second straight trip to the NCAA tournament and eighth America East title in their history. Roberts, who also received Coach of the Year recognition in 1991, 1994, 2001, and 2004, is assisted by Scott Black, Francis Okaroh and Dan Colwell.
Dantas, a transfer from Jefferson College, ranks 21st among NCAA leaders with 1.65 points per game and eighth with 0.59 assists per contest. The America East Co-Player of the Week for September 2, Dantas led the conference in points (28), was tied for the lead in assists (10) and tied for second in goals (9). He also led the Great Danes to 12 wins, which tied their Division I program mark set in 2004.
Ceus, a 6-foot-6 presence on the back line, ranks fifth in the nation with 6.08 saves per game and second in America East in save percentage (.859). Ceus, Albany’s all-time leader in career shutouts (19) and saves (325), has blanked seven opponents this season, including five conference foes.
Tobin, a first-team all-conference selection in 2007, leads a defense that ranks 12th in the nation in team goals against average. A candidate for Lowe’s Senior Class Award, Tobin was named America East Player of the Week on October 13. His Catamounts have allowed just six scores in their last 18 games against league foes, including a pair of shutouts in the 2007 America East Championship.
Dantas is joined at forward on the all-conference first team by Hartford’s Carlos Villa (Las Conchas, Guatemala/Arrayanes/San Jacinto College). Villa leads the league with 11 goals and is second with 25 points.
Bustamante, one of five midfielders on the first team, is accompanied by Binghamton’s Justin Leskow (Endwell, N.Y./Union Endicott), Hartford’s Ivan Guarin (Pereira, Colombia/White Plains/Herkimer CC), New Hampshire’s Kyle Urso (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East) and Vermont’s Jordan Crasilneck (Eugene, Ore./Sheldon), a first-team selection in 2006.
Boston University’s Dan Schultz (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seven Hills School) and Binghamton’s Barry Neville (Glascow, Scotland/Mearns Castle), both all-conference selections a year ago, join Tobin on the first team this year.
The second-team forwards, Binghamton’s Cameron Keith (Aberdeenshire, Scotland/Aberdeen University) and Boston University’s Shaun Taylor (Sandown, England/Sandown), were both first-team selections in 2007. The pair have combined for 16 goals, including nine game-winners, this season.
The second-team midfield consists of Albany’s senior duo Don Johnson (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) and Gaby Seguin-Gauthier (Chateauguay, Quebec/College Francais/Champlain), Boston University juniors Samuel Appiah (Obuasi, Ghana/University of Ghana) and Richy Dorman (Flintshire, Wales/Hawarden) as well as Vermont junior T.J. Gore (Macomb, Mich./Dakota), a second-team choice for the third straight year.
Albany's Erik DiLorenzo (Bolton, Ontario/Robert F. Hall Catholic), Binghamton's Kyle Manscuk (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) and Vermont's Jake McFadden (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) are the second-team defenders.
Vermont’s Roger Scully (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) repeats as the
second-team goalkeeper. Scully ranks third in the conference in goals
against average (0.63) and second in shutouts (9). He recorded a
miniscule 0.35 GAA and five shutouts in conference play.
Bustamante, along with Binghamton’s Ryan Walter (Snyder, N.Y./Nichols), Hartford’s Pat Boucher (Cromwell, Conn./Cromwell), UMBC’s Andrew Bulls (Millersville, Md./McDonogh) and Vermont’s Yannick Lewis (Toronto, Ontario/Bramalea Secondary) were unanimous selections to the all-rookie squad. They are joined by Konner McNamara (Mississauga, Ontario/Iona Catholic Secondary School) of Albany, Andy Tiedt (Akron, N.Y./Akron) from Binghamton, Colin Henry (Norwell, Mass.Norwell) from Boston U., Jorge Rodriguez (East Hartford, Conn./Hartford), Daniel Tannous (Thornhill, Ontario/St. Elizabeth) of Maine and Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) from New Hampshire.
All 22 all-conference selections and nine of 11 all-rookie choices, whose teams carry a combined .615 winning percentage, will compete for the league title at the 2008 America East Men’s Soccer Championship, which begins with quarterfinal action on Saturday, November 8. For complete information on America East men’s soccer, including Championship Central, log on to the conference’s official website www.AmericaEast.com.