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Furman's Wyke named SoCon Player of the Year
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 11/07/2017
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Furman's Laurence Wyke
Courtesy: Furman Athletics
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the second straight year, Southern Conference regular-season champion ETSU also claims Bo Oshoniyi as Coach of the Year and Jonny Sutherland as Goalkeeper of the Year in balloting of the league’s six head coaches. Furman’s Laurence Wyke was named the SoCon Player of the Year, while UNCG midfielder Nelson Oceano earned Freshman of the Year honors. 

The coaches also named two all-conference teams and an all-freshman squad. The all-conference second team includes 12 players because of a tie in the voting. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

ETSU leads all squads with 11 total players earning postseason recognition, including a league-high five on the all-conference first team. Furman came in second with eight players honored, while UNCG featured and Mercer featured six, Wofford two, and VMI one.

Wyke, who helped Furman to a 12-4-3 record in 2017, leads the Southern Conference in shots (51) and is second in the league in points with 22 and goals with nine. Wyke, who sees time at both defender and midfield, registered at least one point in seven games and scored two or more goals three different times. The junior from Bolton, England, scored a hat trick against Gardner-Webb and added two goals in Saturday’s 7-1 SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship quarterfinal victory over VMI. 

ETSU’s Sutherland leads the SoCon in goals against average (0.767) and save percentage (.811) and ranks second in the league with eight shutouts and third with 60 saves. The junior from Chester, United Kingdom, led the Bucs to a 9-2-6 overall record, going 6-0-4 in conference play. Sutherland came up big down the stretch, leading ETSU to a pair of ties against Furman with 10 and seven saves, respectively. Sutherland registered three shutouts in 0-0 ties and had a pair of 1-0 victories. 

Oshoniyi, who is in his fourth year with the Bucs, has a 37-23-14 career record at ETSU. Oshoniyi guided the Bucs to their second regular-season championship and is searching for the program’s first-ever Southern Conference tournament title. ETSU will face No. 4 seed Mercer in a semifinal matchup on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Joining Sutherland on the first team for the second consecutive year are Fletcher Ekern, Serge Gomis and Chase Clack. The trio combined for four goals and seven assists on the season. 

Sophomore Bruno Andrade was named first-team All-SoCon, while Danny Barlow, Jeffrey George, Ben Holt and Nick Spielman were named to the All-SoCon second team. Andrade, a sophomore from Sao Paulo, Brazil, leads ETSU with five assists in 2017. Barlow, a forward from Newcastle, England, was also named to the all-freshman squad, scoring five goals and adding two assists in his rookie year. He was joined on the all-freshman squad by Austin Bihlmeyer, who has appeared in all 17 matches and has recorded one goal and two assists. George and Holt each had a pair of goals on the season, combining for three game-winners for the Bucs. Spielman, a redshirt junior from Melbourne, Florida, scored three goals to go with one assist, notching the game-winning goal against Wofford on Sept. 30.

Kevin Edelmann joins Furman’s Wyke on the All-SoCon first team while teammates Cole McLagan, Danny Kierath, Kyle McLagan and Ben Hale all earned second-team honors. Edelmann, a native of Koblenz, Germany, saw time at both defense and midfield, scoring three goals and registering one assist. Two of Edelmann’s three goals came on Sept. 26 against VMI, while his third came as a game-winner in the 3-2 season-opening victory over the College of Charleston, leading the redshirt senior to SoCon Player of the Week honors.

Hale, a redshirt freshman from Frisco, Texas, was twice named SoCon Player of the Week. Hale first earned the award on Sept. 5 after leading the Paladins to a pair of 1-0 road victories over Air Force and nationally ranked Denver. Hale ended the 2017 regular season strongly, recording five saves in the team’s last two victories, helping Furman lock up the No. 3 seed in the SoCon tournament. 

Kierath, a junior from Loganville, Georgia, was second on the team in points, scoring five goals and totaling seven assists. Cole McLagan, a forward, scored four goals with one assist while his brother Kyle, a senior, started all 18 games for the Paladins defense. 

UNCG’s Leeroy Maguraushe is the lone Spartan to make first-team All-SoCon, scoring three goals and tying with a team-high five assists. Maguraushe, who helped lead UNCG to a 9-7-2 record (6-3-1 SoCon), had three game-winning goals, including one in a 2-1 victory over Mercer on Oct. 21 that helped lock up the No. 2 seed for UNCG. Oceano, who made the All-SoCon second team, led the Spartans in goals with four and points with 13. Matt Mattis, who was also named All-SoCon second team, shared the team lead with four goals, two of which were game-winners. Alex Henderson and Cyril Owalabi join Oceano as representatives on the all-freshman team.

For the second consecutive year, Mercer’s Will Bagrou and Conner Antley both represent the Bears on the All-SoCon first team. Trenton Whitely and Jeremy Booth were named All-SoCon second team while, Kareve Richards and Leonel Toledo, both redshirts, were named to the all-freshman team. 

Bagrou, who was the 2016 SoCon Player of the Year, leads the conference in points (27), goals (12) and game-winning goals (four). The Dacula, Georgia, native had two goals against both Georgia Southern and Wofford during the regular season.  Bagrou propelled Mercer to the SoCon tournament semifinals, scoring the game-winning goal in the first round against Wofford on Saturday. Antley, a defensive stalwart for the Bears, appeared in 18 games, scoring four goals and handing out three assists from the back line. 

Whitely, a senior from Lawrenceville, Georgia, started all 19 games for the Bears. Whitely, who saw time at both defense and midfield, totaled three goals and four assists on the year. Booth, a redshirt senior from Norcross, Georgia, started all 19 games in net for the Bears, amassing 60 saves with a goals against average of 1.07. 

Richards, a Loganville, Georgia native, started 18 games for the Mercer defense, totaling three shots. Classmate Toledo started 15 of 16 games at forward, leading the team with six assists and adding a goal in the regular-season finale against VMI.

Wofford forward Lucas Altman was named first-team All-SoCon, while Zach Aversano made the all-freshman squad. Altman scored twice as many goals as any other Terrier, totaling six on the season. Aversano, a midfielder from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, found the back of the net three times, including the decisive score in a 1-0 victory over Furman. 

Pa-Alieu Ann is the lone representative for VMI on the all-conference squads, being named to the all-freshman team. Ann started all 17 games at midfield for the Keydets, totaling four shots.  

ETSU, UNCG, Furman and Mercer, the top four seeds, respectively, have advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, which will take place at Furman’s Eugene Stone Soccer Stadium in Greenville, South Carolina, 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 ESPN3.

2017 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Laurence Wyke, Jr., MF/D, Furman
Goalkeeper of the Year – Jonny Sutherland, Jr., ETSU
Coach of the Year – Bo Oshoniyi, ETSU
Freshman of the Year – Nelson Oceano, MF, UNCG

First Team
F Bruno Andrade, ETSU
F Fletcher Ekern, ETSU
F Will Bagrou, Mercer
F Lucas Altman, Wofford
MF Serge Gomis, ETSU
MF Laurence Wyke, Furman
MF Leeroy Maguraushe, UNCG
D Chase Clack, ETSU
D Kevin Edelmann, Furman
D Conner Antley, Mercer
GK Jonny Sutherland, ETSU

Second Team
F Danny Barlow, ETSU
F Cole McLagan, Furman
F Matt Mattis, UNCG
MF Jeffrey George, ETSU
MF Nick Spielman, ETSU
MF Danny Kierath, Furman
MF Nelson Oceano, UNCG
D Ben Holt, ETSU
D Kyle McLagan, Furman
D Trenton Whitely, Mercer
GK Ben Hale, Furman
GK Jeremy Booth, Mercer

All-Freshman Team
Danny Barlow, ETSU
Austin Bihlmeyer, ETSU
Ben Hale, Furman
Cole McLagan, Furman
Alex Henderson, UNCG
Nelson Oceano, UNCG
Cyril Owolabi, UNCG
Kareve Richards, Mercer
Leonel Toledo, Mercer
Zach Aversano, Wofford
Pa-Alieu Ann, VMI

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