FOUR CAA PLAYERS EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS: Three CAA players earned All-America honors for outstanding play during the 2011 season. James Madison junior midfielder Paul Wyatt made the NSCAA All-America second team after contributing six goals and three assists for the Dukes. Delaware senior Evans Frimpong was named to the NSCAA All-America second team and the College Soccer News All-America third team. Frimpong, the CAA Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, contributed 12 goals and five assists for the Blue Hens. Old Dominion junior forward Yannick Smith was chosen as a third-team All-American by the NSCAA and College Soccer News. Smith, who was also a Hermann Trophy semifinalist, scored a league-high 16 goals and 34 points for the Monarchs. In addition, VCU freshman defender Juan Monge Solano earned a spot on the College Soccer News Freshman All-America second team.
CAA PLAYERS DOMINATE ALL-REGION TEAM: There were 16 CAA players among the 33 selected to the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region team. Receiving first team honors were Hofstra defender Shaun Foster, ODU goalkeeper Victor Francoz, Delaware forward Evans Frimpong, ODU forward Yannick Smith and JMU midfielder Paul Wyatt. Named to the second team were ODU midfielder Gideon Asante, Delaware forward Roberto Gimenez, ODU forward Tim Hopkinson, JMU forward Patrick Innes, Northeastern midfielder Dante Marini and VCU defender Juan Monge Solano. Chosen to the third team were William & Mary midfielder Nicolas Abrigo, JMU goalkeeper Justin Epperson, VCU forward Jason Johnson, Georgia State defender Chris Locandro and Delaware defender Darren O’Connor.
JMU REACHES ROUND OF 16 WIN 2-0 WIN OVER WAKE: James Madison advanced to the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship for the first time since 1995 after defeating Wake Forest, 2-0, on Dec. 20. The Dukes got first-half goals from Jimmy Simpson and Christian McLaughlin, while goalkeeper Justin Epperson made three saves to record his ninth shutout. JMU was eliminated from the tournament following a 3-0 setback at #3 Connecticut on Nov. 27.
DELAWARE, ODU ADVANCE TO NCAA SECOND ROUND: CAA champion Delaware knocked off Virginia 1-0 in double overtime, and Old Dominion advanced past Liberty 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 double-overtime time to move on to the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship on Nov. 17. Georgia State was beaten 1-0 at Duke in the other first-round game featuring a CAA team. Sophomore John Dineen headed in the game-winning goal in the 106th minute to give Delaware its first NCAA Tournament win ever. The play was started by a Darren O’Connor free kick, which went off the head of Mark Garrity to the head of Dineen. Goalie Kris Devaux made three saves to record his sixth shutout for the Blue Hens. ODU converted all five of its penalty kicks and goalkeeper Victor Francoz turned away Liberty’s fifth attempt as the Monarchs advanced. ODU out-shot the Flames 21-8 for the match and Francoz posted his sixth shutout of the year. Georgia State battled Duke to a scoreless draw in the first half before giving up the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute. Panthers’ goalkeeper Vincent Foermer made six saves, including one on a penalty kick in the first half. Delaware fell 1-0 at UCLA in the second round on a goal in the 84th minute, and Old Dominion was beaten 3-0 at Indiana in second-round action.
SEVEN CAA TEAMS IN TOP 62 OF NCAA RPI: Seven CAA teams were ranked among the top 62 in the nation in the final 2011 NCAA RPI rankings. James Madison led the list of CAA teams at #16, Old Dominion was #21, Delaware was #31, William & Mary was #37, Georgia State was #45, VCU was #59 and Northeastern was #62. The CAA was ranked 6th among the nation’s 23 Division I men’s soccer conferences.
THREE CAA TEAMS AMONG FINAL 32 IN NCAA TOURNEY: Delaware and Old Dominion joined 14th-seeded James Madison, which received an opening-round bye, to give the CAA three teams in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The CAA also had three teams reach the second round in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
FOUR CAA TEAMS EARN NCAA TOURNAMENT BERTHS: For just the second time in conference history, four CAA teams earned berths in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. CAA champion Delaware was joined by at-large picks Georgia State, James Madison and Old Dominion. The only other time four CAA teams were chosen for the 48-team field was 2006 when George Mason, Hofstra, ODU and Towson made it. The CAA ranked third among all conferences with four teams in the NCAA field. The Big East had seven teams in the tournament, followed by the ACC with six and the CAA and Conference USA with four.
FOUR CAA TEAMS LISTED IN NATIONAL POLLS: Four CAA teams are included in final 2011 national men’s soccer polls. James Madison is ranked #14 by TopDrawerSoccer, #20 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll and #25 by College Soccer News. Old Dominion is ranked #22 by College Soccer News, #24 by the NSCAA and #27 by TopDrawerSoccer. Delaware is ranked #29 by TopDrawerSoccer and was among others receiving votes in the NSCAA and College Soccer News polls. Georgia State was ranked #36 by TopDrawerSoccer.
CAA TEAMS IN REGIONAL RANKINGS: Five CAA teams were among the top 10 in the final South Atlantic region rankings released by the NSCAA on Nov. 15. Old Dominion was ranked #3 in the region, Delaware was #5, James Madison was #6, Georgia State was #8 and William & Mary was #9. Northeastern was among others receiving votes.
GREAT DEFENSE, CLOSE GAMES IN CAA PLAY: The CAA maintained its tradition of close, competitive games in league play. Of the 66 conference contests played this season, 44 were decided by one goal or less. There was also outstanding defense throughout the conference as shutouts were recorded in 34 of the 66 games.
DELAWARE CAPTURES FIRST CAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Fourth-seeded Delaware rallied for a 2-1 victory over #2 Old Dominion to win its first CAA men’s soccer championship. The Monarchs took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Jordan LeBlanc converted a penalty kick after teammate Yannick Smith was taken down in the box. The Blue Hens drew even in the 34th minute as Vincent Mediate controlled the rebound from his own shot and tucked it inside the left post. UD scored the game-winner on an own goal in the 65th minute. Mediate sent a cross into the middle of the box that was intended for Mark Garritty, but an attempted clear off the head of ODU defender Drew Smith went into the net. UD goalkeeper Kris Devaux made seven saves to protect the victory. It was the Blue Hens’ first conference tournament title in school history.
UD’S MEDIATE NAMED TOURNAMENT MOP: Delaware sophomore Vincent Mediate, who scored a goal in the Blue Hens’ championship game victory over ODU, was selected as the Most Outstanding Performer of the CAA Men’s Soccer Championship. He was joined on the all-tournament team by UD’s Kris Devaux, John Dineen and Darren O’Connor. Making the squad from ODU were Jason Gaylord, Tim Hopkinson and Tommy Webb. Rounding out the team were Georgia State’s Chris Locandro and Stephen McGill and James Madison’s Christian McLaughlin and Paul Wyatt.
FRIMPONG HEADLINES ALL-CAA TEAM: Delaware senior forward Evans Frimpong, who was tied for second in the CAA with 11 goals and 27 points during the regular season, became the first Blue Hen to earn CAA men’s soccer Player of the Year honors. Frimpong’s 27 points were the most by a UD player since 1982. Also earning major awards from the conference were Hofstra’s Shaun Foster, who was named Defender of the Year for the second straight season, Delaware forward Roberto Gimenez, who was named Rookie of the Year, and James Madison’s Tom Martin, who was honored as the CAA Coach of the Year for the fifth time.
ODU’S DAWSON REACHES 300 WINS: Old Dominion head coach Alan Dawson won the 300th game of his career when the second-seeded Monarchs defeated #6 Georgia State in the semifinals of the CAA Men’s Soccer Championship.
NOTES FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE: Delaware made its third NCAA Tournament appearance, but first since 1970, and set a school record for wins (13). Georgia State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance ever and its 13 wins this season were the most since 1986. James Madison was undefeated at home (10-0-1) this season, including a 2-0 win over Wake Forest in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Dukes captured the CAA regular-season title for the first time since 2000. Old Dominion made its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 10 years and 10th overall. ODU ranked second in the nation in scoring with 2.4 goals per game. (48 goals).