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UNCG's Penland named Men's Soccer Player of the Year
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/12/2019
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UNCG's Casey Penland
Courtesy: UNCG

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After earning a share of the 2019 Southern Conference regular-season title, UNC Greensboro claimed this year’s SoCon Player of the Year as senior defender Casey Penland took home the honor. ETSU’s Josh Perryman earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors, while Wofford midfielder Adrian Roseth came away with Freshman of the Year honors. Furman’s Doug Allison was named the Coach of the Year for the eighth time after leading the Paladins to a share of the regular-season title.

The coaches also named two all-conference teams and an all-freshman squad. This season’s all-freshman team includes 12 because of ties in the voting. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players or themselves.

Furman led all squads with 11 total players earning postseason recognition, including three players on the all-conference first team. UNCG featured seven players, while ETSU and Wofford each had six. Mercer and Belmont rounded out the squads with three and one selection, respectively.

Penland anchored the UNCG squad that allowed just two goals in six SoCon matches, finishing the regular season at 8-8-1 overall and 5-1-0 in conference play. Along with his standout defensive play, the senior from High Point, North Carolina, scored five goals and added one assist for a total of 11 points this year.

ETSU’s Perryman led the conference’s goalkeepers with a .778 save percentage while ranking second in goals-against average (1.01) and shutouts (four) and third in saves (63). The Sheffield, England, native led an ETSU side that finished 8-7-2 in the regular season and 4-2-0 in conference play, winning four of its last five matches to finish third in the regular-season standings. Perryman was named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24 along with being named the defensive player of the month in October.

Roseth powered Wofford to a 2-3-1 conference record as the Terriers finished the regular season fifth in head coach Joel Tyson’s first season in charge. The Haugesund, Norway, native found the back of the net six times this year, including a hat trick in a thrilling draw at Belmont on Oct. 12. Roseth’s six goals are tied for seventh in the conference and are also tied for second among the league’s freshmen. 

Allison claimed his eighth coach of the year award after leading Furman to a share of its ninth regular-season title, ending with an overall record of 11-6-1 and a 5-1-0 mark in conference play. Allison, already the winningest men’s soccer coach in SoCon history, earned his 300th career win on Sept. 8 as the Paladins defeated Winthrop 3-0. 

Furman midfielder Rocky Guerra and defenders Cole McLagan and Jack Shiels represented the Paladins on the first team. McLagan was dangerous going forward from his position at fullback as he netted eight goals and added three assists. The two-time defensive player of the week tied for the third-most goals in the conference, while his 19 points ranked fourth. Guerra is tied for sixth in the league with 16 points, coming from four goals and eight assists. The senior was named the offensive player of the week once and offensive player of the month for October, while Shiels earned defensive player of the week honors on Sept. 17.

Forward Connor Hubbard, defender Tommy Kay and midfielders Miles Fenton and Conor Sloan made up the Furman contingent on the All-SoCon second team. Sloan finished the year tied for sixth with 16 points on five goals and six assists. The Paladins also placed four players on the all-freshman team in Callum Holland, Shaun-Chris Joash, Kay and Dylan Lane. 

UNCG’s Penland was also named to the All-SoCon first team and is joined by forward Micah Albert and midfielder Albert Pedra. Pedra ranks second in the conference in goals (10) and third in points (22) and was named the offensive player of the week after scoring the fifth-fastest hat trick in Division I history on Nov. 2 in a 3-1 win against Old Dominion. Albert ranks fifth in the league in points (17) and sixth in goals (seven).

On the second team, the Spartans are represented by midfielder Nelson Oceano and goalkeeper Brendan Pulley. Oceano has tallied six assists and is tied for fourth in the league, while Pulley ranks first in goals-against average (0.98) and second in save percentage (.714). His play earned himself a pair of defensive player of the week awards. Pulley was also included in the all-freshman team and joined by teammate Matthew Skinner. 

ETSU’s Perryman added a first-team selection to his Goalkeeper of the Year honor and is joined by defender Merveil Bilomba. Bilomba was strong at the back for the Bucs this season and was rewarded for his strong defensive play on Oct. 29 as he was named the conference’s defensive player of the week. 

Hauk Andreas Fossen and Kieren Richards were named to both the All-SoCon second team and all-freshman squads. Fossen led all freshman in goals (eight) and points (16), which ranks third and sixth overall, respectively. The freshman forward also tied for the most game-winning goals in the league with four and was twice named the offensive player of the week. Richards was also one of the conference’s highest-scoring freshmen with six goals, which tied for the second-most by a freshman and tied for seventh overall. 

Freshman of the Year Roseth was the lone selection for Wofford on the first team but the Terriers boasted defenders Buster Sjoberg and Sam Ross on the second team. Roseth and Sjoberg were both included on the all-freshman team, as well as forward Brandon Oddy.

2018 player of the year Trevor Martineau was the lone first-team selection for Mercer after leading the conference in goals (13), assists (10) and points (36) and tying for the most game-winning goals (four). Martineau was a four-time offensive player of the week winner, as well as being named the offensive player of the month for September. Forward Leo Toledo Jr. represents the Bears on the second team after notching four goals and five assists this season, while Dylan Gaither was the lone inclusion on the all-freshman team. 

Midfielder Niccolo Dagnoni of Belmont rounded out the first team as the Bruins’ only all-conference selection. The sophomore put together one of the best seasons in Belmont history, with his eight assists tying for the school record for assists in a season, as well as tying for second in the SoCon. Dagnoni finished second in the SoCon in points (24) and tied for third in goals (eight). He was honored as the league’s offensive player of the week on Oct. 15 for his hat trick against Wofford.

No. 2 seed UNCG and No. 4 Mercer will face off on Sunday at 6 p.m. in the final of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship. The match will take place at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina.

2019 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team

 Player of the Year – Casey Penland, Sr., D, UNCG

 Goalkeeper of the Year – Josh Perryman, R-So., ETSU

 Coach of the Year – Doug Allison, Furman

 Freshman of the Year – Adrian Roseth, MF, Wofford

First Team

 F Niccolo Dagnoni, Belmont

 F Trevor Martineau, Mercer

 F Micah Albert, UNCG

 MF Rocky Guerra, Furman

 MF Albert Pedra, UNCG

 MF Adrian Roseth, Wofford

 D Merveil Bilomba, ETSU

 D Cole McLagan, Furman

 D Jack Shiels, Furman

 D Casey Penland, UNCG

 GK Josh Perryman, ETSU

Second Team

 F Hauk Andreas Fossen, ETSU

 F Connor Hubbard, Furman

 F Leo Toledo Jr., Mercer

 MF Kieren Richards, ETSU

 MF Miles Fenton, Furman

 MF Conor Sloan, Furman

 MF Nelson Oceano, UNCG

 D Tommy Kay, Furman

 D Sam Ross, Wofford

 D Buster Sjoberg, Wofford

 GK Brendan Pulley, UNCG 

All-Freshman Team

 Hauk Andreas Fossen, ETSU

 Kieren Richards, ETSU

 Callum Holland, Furman

 Shaun-Chris Joash, Furman

 Tommy Kay, Furman

 Dylan Lane, Furman

 Dylan Gaither, Mercer

 Brendan Pulley, UNCG

 Matthew Skinner, UNCG

 Brandon Oddy, Wofford

 Adrian Roseth, Wofford

 Buster Sjoberg, Wofford

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