SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Along with claiming the 2018 Southern Conference regular-season title, Mercer claimed this year’s SoCon Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in freshman forward Trevor Martineau. The Bears also came away with this year’s Coach of the Year, Brad Ruzzo. Furman senior goalkeeper Ben Hale earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
The coaches also named two all-conference teams and an all-freshman squad. This season’s second team and all-freshman team includes 12 and 13 players, respectively, because of ties in the voting. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Mercer leads all squads with 10 total players earning postseason recognition, including a league-high five on the all-conference first team. ETSU and Furman featured seven, Belmont four, Wofford three, UNCG two and VMI one.
Martineau helped Mercer to a SoCon regular season championship and a 12-3-2 record in 2018. He leads the conference in points (25), points per game (1.47) and game-winning goals (5) and is tied for first in shots (52) and goals (9). The McKinney, Texas, native was named the SoCon men’s soccer player of the week three times this season, the first time a freshman has ever won the award three times in a season.
Furman’s Hale leads the Southern Conference in shutouts (6) and shutouts per game (0.33) and ranks fourth in the league in saves (59). The senior from Frisco, Texas, led the Paladins to a 11-6-1 overall record, going in 4-2 in conference play.
Ruzzo, who is in his 11th year with the Bears, is looking to hoist the SoCon Championship trophy for the third season in a row after leading them to back-to-back SoCon tournament championships (2016-2017). Mercer will face No. 5 seed UNCG in a semifinal matchup on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Martineau was also named to the All-SoCon first team. He is joined by teammates forward Leo Toldeo Jr., midfielder Roberto Arteaga, defender Ramario Thompson and defender Kareve Richards. The four of them combined have 10 goals on the season. Arteaga and Toldeo Jr. are leading the SoCon in assists with eight each and Arteaga also currently leads the conference in assists per game (0.50).
Teammates midfielder Kobe Perez, defender Josh Harrison and goalkeeper JR DeRose were named to the All-SoCon second team. Jason Udom, Michael Ille and Martineau were named to the all-freshman team. DeRose is second in the league in shutouts (4), save percentage (0.771) and goals against average (1.08).
ETSU’s post season honorees were led by forward Bruno Andrade and midfielder and Cameron Woodfin who were named to the All-SoCon first team. Forward Danny Barlow, midfielder Serge Gomis and defender John Luccesi was named to the All-SoCon second team along with defender Merveil Bilomba and goalkeeper Josh Perryman. Perryman was also named to the All-SoCon freshman team. Barlow currently leads the SoCon in shots per game (3.25) and goals per game (0.56) and is tied with Trevor Martineau for the SoCon lead in shots (52) and goals (9) and is second in the league for points per game (1.47).
Joining goalkeeper Ben Hale on the All-SoCon first team is fellow Paladin midfielder and 2017 Player of the Year Laurence Wyke. Wyke leads the Paladins in shots with 43 and game-winning goals with four.
Forward Emery May, midfielder Danny Kierath and defender Dalton Souder were named to the All-SoCon second team. May leads the Paladins in goals (7) and points (15).
Also on the first team is Wofford defender Kyle Nelson. Nelson finished out the 2018 season with four shots on goal, three of which he connected with to find the back of the net. The Terriers are also represented on this year’s all-freshman team by Ethan Willie and Shane Berson.
For the second year in a row, senior midfielder Leeroy Maguraushe was the lone Spartan to be placed on the All-SoCon first team. Teammate Jacob Planell was named to the All-Freshman team. Planell leads the Spartans in goals (5) and points (11).
SoCon newcomer, Belmont placed one, forward Matteo Bennati, on the All-SoCon second team. Bennati led his team in goals for the season (7) and tied in the conference with Furman’s Emery May for third.
The Bruins also placed three freshmen on the all-freshman team in Ares Marlonsson, Daniel Twizer and Niccolo Dagnoni. The three combined for nine of Belmont’s 23 points for the season.
Broden Schull was the lone Keydet to be honored. Schull was named to the all-freshman team after leading the SoCon in saves (121) and saves per game (6.72). The Portland, Oregon, native was instrumental in the win over Regent for the Keydets, making seven saves and allowing only one goal, to give the Keydets the 4-1 victory.
Mercer, ETSU, Furman and UNCG, the No. 1, 2, 3 and 5 seeds, respectively, have advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, which will take place at Summers-Taylor Stadium in Johnson City, Tennessee, starting Friday at 3:30 p.m. Both matches will appear live on the SoCon Digital Network, with the championship being broadcasted live Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN+.
2018 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Trevor Martineau, Fr., Mercer
Goalkeeper of the Year – Ben Hale, R-So., Furman
Coach of the Year – Brad Ruzzo, Mercer
Freshman of the Year – Trevor Martineau, Fr., Mercer
F Trevor Martineau, Mercer
F Leo Toldeo Jr., Mercer
F Bruno Andrade, ETSU
MF Cameron Woodfin, ETSU
MF Leeroy Maguraushe, UNCG
MF Roberto Arteaga, Mercer
MF Laurence Wyke, Furman
D Ramario Thompson, Mercer
D Kareve Richards, Mercer
D Kyle Nelson, Wofford
GK Ben Hale, Furman
F Danny Barlow, ETSU
F Matteo Bennati, Belmont
F Emery May, Furman
MF Serge Gomis, ETSU
MF Kobe Perez, Mercer
MF Danny Kierath, Furman
D Dalton Souder, Furman
D Josh Harrison, Mercer
D Merveil Bilomba, ETSU
D John Luccesi, ETSU
GK JR DeRose, Mercer
GK Josh Perryman, ETSU
Ares Marlonsson, Belmont
Daniel Twizer, Belmont
Niccolo Dagnoni, Belmont
Josh Perryman, ETSU
Jacob Garzon, Furman
Miles Fenton, Furman
Jason Udom, Mercer
Michael Ille, Mercer
Trevor Martineau, Mercer
Jacob Planell, UNCG
Broden Schull, VMI
Ethan Willie, Wofford
Shane Berson, Wofford