Reader’s Pick: 2017 MSOC D3 Sports News Freshman of the Year


The D3 Men’s Soccer regular season is in the books, and the conference tournaments have been played out. As we start to look toward the NCAA D3 Tournament we thought it would be a good time to start sorting through some stats and come up with some end-of-season awards.

We’ve put together a list of some of the top performing freshman from this past season, and figured we’d let our readers decide, Who is the 2017 D3 Sports News MSOC Freshman of the Year.

Voting will end at 7pm on 11/13.

Azizjon Ziyaev, M – Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Azizjon Ziyaev (Brooklyn Athletics photo)

18 games/16 goals (T17th), 2 assists – 34 points (T29th)
1.89 points/game (T40th)

A three-time City University of New York Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Week, Brooklyn midfielder Azizjon Ziyaev finished the season with back-to-back POW awards. Ziyaev managed his third hat-trick of the season in a 6-1 win over CCNY in CUNYAC play and closed out the regular season with a pair of goals and an assist in a 9-2 win over Albertus Magnus in non-conference play.

A.J. Marcucci, GK – Connecticut College

Connecticut College keeper A.J. Marucci (Connecticut College Athletics photo)

.897 save pct. (5th)
.562 goals-against average (22nd)
7 shutouts (T32nd)

Freshman keeper A.J. Marcucci helped lead Connecticut College to a perfect 2-0 week to open the 2017 campaign, earning the freshman New England Small College Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. After spending all but 25 minutes in goal for the Camels, Marcucci finished the regular season with seven shutouts and an .897 goals-against average, ranking him 7th overall in D3.

Ian McInturf, GK – Kenyon

Kenyon Keeper Ian McInturf (Mike Munden/Kenyon Athletics photo)

19 games/10 shutouts (T6th)

Kenyon keeper Ian McInturf led the North Coast Athletic Conference with a .783 save percentage and a 0.48 goals-against average. His 10 shutouts ranked in the top-1o in all of D3.

Wesley Sprague, GK – Gordon

Gordon keeper Wesley Sprague (Gordon Athletics photo)

19 games/10 shutouts (T6th)
.875 save pct. (14th)

.574 goals-against average (25th)

Gordon keeper Wesley Sprague received his third Commonwealth Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Week award and his sixth overall weekly award after posting a shutout against Western New England in the final week of regular-season play. He recorded six saves in Gordon’s 2-0 win, including four in the second half.

Brenden Valverde, F – Penn St.-Berks

Penn State Berks Brenden Valverde (Penn State Berks Athletics photo)

19 games/22 goals (T2nd), 6 assists – 50 points (2nd)
2.63 points/game (3rd)

Brenden Valverde was selected as the North Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Rookie and Player of the Year. Valverde received the NEAC honors after turning in the finest offensive season in program-history setting the program-record for goals scored (22) and points (50), while his ranking sixth in assists (6). Valverde’s goal and point totals lead the NEAC and rank second in the nation. He has recorded at least one goal in 12 contests and has four multi-goal scoring games.

Jorey Garcia, M/F – Old Westbury

Old Westbury’s Jorey Garcia (Old Westbury Athletics photo)

18 games/16 goals (T17th), 6 assists – 38 points (T19th)
2.11 points/game (19th)

Jorey Garcia was named the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Week for games played October 23-29, announced Tuesday by league officials. Garcia was recognized as the conference’s top rookie for the second-consecutive week (third of career).

Garcia scored four goals and dished out one assist to tally nine points in Old Westbury’s 2-0-0 week. In Old Westbury’s regular season finale against St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn), Garcia registered his second-straight hat trick to help secure Old Westbury’s fifth-seed in the Skyline Championship with the 5-0 home win.

Kaleb Keller, F – Principia

Principia’s Kaleb Keller (Principia Athletics photo)

17 games/16 goals (T17th), 2 assists – 34 points (T29th)
2.00 points/game (T26th)

Keller takes home both the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player and the Newcomer of the Year honors, becoming just the third player in conference history to win both awards in the same season. Keller shattered the program’s single-season record for goals; finishing with 17 during the regular season. Of his 17 goals, 11 came in conference play; leading all SLIAC players. He also finished with conference highs of 23 points and 69 shots this season while netting two game-winning goals. Keller tallied two hat-tricks during conference play, including a four-goal effort and scored in six of his nine conference games

Mayele Malango, F – Salem St.

Salem State forward Mayele Malango (David Le/Salem State Athletics photo)

16 games/16 goals (T17th), 9 assists –  41 points (T14th)
2.56 points/game (6th)

Salem State finished their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season schedule with a perfect 7-0 record and ((insert conference tournament results here)). Forward Mayele Malango led the MASCAC in goals with 17 and was third in assists with nine.



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