Smith of Williams Named Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Williams senior defender Conor Smith (Yardley, Pa.) has been chosen by the conference coaches as the 2009 NESCAC Player of the Year. Overcoming a late season injury that held him out of the lineup for three games, Smith helped his Ephs squad win the 2009 NESCAC Men’s Soccer Championship this past weekend, the program’s first since 2006 and sixth league crown overall. Although Smith joins a long list of Williams players that have won the conference’s top honor, which includes Patrick Huffer (2006), Josh Bolton (2004-05), Khari Stephenson (2002-03), and Alex Blake (2000-01), he is the first back this decade to win NESCAC Player of the Year.
The Ephs’ senior captain was also honored as a member of the All-NESCAC First Team. Smith is currently third among his teammates and tied for fifth in the conference in goals with seven through 14 games, but statistics don’t tell the whole story. The centerpiece of Williams’ defensive corps, Smith has shown great presence and provided great leadership for his club all over the pitch this season. His spirited play can be seen in how well he wins battles in the air and with his feet. His seven tallies and 14 points are a career-best, surpassing the five goals and one assist he accumulated during his sophomore season.
Joining Smith on the All-Conference First Team from Williams was forward Charlie Romero (Mansfield, Mass.). After collecting only one assist through his first two seasons with the Ephs, Romero is enjoying a breakout junior campaign as he sits atop the conference score sheet with 10 goals and 26 points over 17 starts, an average of 1.53 points per game. Along with Romero at forward on the First Team were juniors Peter Marlette (Buffalo, N.Y.) of Trinity and Trevor Prophet (Nashua, N.H.) of Connecticut College. Marlette and Prophet both had career seasons while leading their teams in scoring, as they finished tied with one another for fourth among NESCAC players in points per game with 1.20 over 15 outings. One of only two individuals to return from last year’s First Team, Prophet contributed over 40-percent of his team’s tallies with eight goals (T-2nd NESCAC) and in addition added two assists. Marlette netted seven goals (T-5th) and four assists.
At midfield were the Wesleyan senior tandem of Nick Whipple (Montclair, N.J.) and Woody Redpath (Norwich, Vt.), both of whom have started every contest this autumn. Whipple’s two goals and three assists for seven points do not reflect his impact for the Cardinals, as he has the ability to dictate the tempo of a match. A defensive center midfielder for a Cardinal team that boasts a league-low seven goals allowed, Redpath has performed admirably by winning balls, covering ground, and connecting passes. Along with Whipple and Redpath in the center was Middlebury sophomore Robbie Redmond (Morristown, N.J.). The heart and soul of the Panthers’ midfield, Redmond doubled his goal production from his rookie campaign with four goals to finish the year in a three-way tie for second on his team.
In the back with Williams’ Smith on the All-NESCAC First Team were three other individuals, Matt Lewis (Wayland, Mass.) of Amherst along with Colin Nangle (Westport, Conn.) and Harrison Watkins (San Francisco, Calif.) of Middlebury. The 2006 NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Lewis has recorded a personal-best four goals - two of which have served as the game-winner - and nine points while missing only one game so far this season. A four-year starter for the Panthers, Nangle joined Prophet from Connecticut College as the only holdover from last year’s First Team with two assists during his senior season. Watkins emerged as Middlebury’s top goal scorer down the stretch, tallying four of his team-high five goals over the Panthers’ last four games. The junior also had the game-winning goal in each of Middlebury’s final three wins, as the Panthers reached the finals of the NESCAC Men’s Soccer Championship for the fourth year in a row.
Wesleyan freshman goalkeeper Adam Purdy (Montclair, N.J.) completed the 2009 All-Conference First Team. The backbone of the Cardinals defense, Purdy became the first rookie ever to earn First Team recognition. At 11-1-4, Purdy has played all but 34 minutes in net for Wesleyan and leads the league in goals against average (0.42), save percentage (.909), and shutouts (9) heading into this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. He was also selected as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
Geoff Wheeler of Wesleyan was honored for the second time in his career as NESCAC Coach of the Year. The Cardinals have shattered numerous records this season, beginning with the school’s best undefeated start to a season at 11-0-4 and the most shutouts in team history with 11. Wesleyan also finished atop the NESCAC standings for the first time. Now in his 11th season with the Cardinals, Wheeler previously received the award in 2005 when he guided his program to its first conference crown.
2009 NESCAC Men's Soccer All-Conference
|F||Peter Marlette||Trinity||Jr.||Buffalo, N.Y.|
|F||Trevor Prophet||Connecticut College
|F||Charlie Romero||Williams||Jr.||Mansfield, Mass.|
|M||Woody Redpath||Wesleyan||Sr.||Norwich, Vt.|
|M||Robbie Redmond||Middlebury||So.||Morristown, N.J.|
|M||Nick Whipple||Wesleyan||Sr.||Montclair, N.J.|
|D||Matt Lewis||Amherst||Sr.||Wayland, Mass.|
|D||Colin Nangle||Middlebury||Sr.||Westport, Conn.|
|D||Conor Smith||Williams||Sr.||Yardley, Pa.|
|D||Harrison Watkins||Middlebury||Jr.||San Francisco, Calif.|
|GK||Adam Purdy||Wesleyan||Fr.||Montclair, N.J.|
|F||Asante Brooks||Wesleyan||Sr.||Princeton, N.J.|
|F||Gaston Kelly||Williams||Jr.||Hingham, Mass.|
|F||Keisuke Yamashita||Wesleyan||Sr.||Yokohama, Japan|
|M||Oscar Brown||Connecticut College||So.||Ridgefield, Conn.|
|M||Greg Genco||Amherst||Sr.||Hauppauge, N.Y.|
|M||John Graves||Trinity||Sr.||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|D||Jake Edwards||Middlebury||Jr.||Easton, Conn.|
||Wesleyan||Jr.||Mill Valley, Calif.|
|D||Call Nichols||Bowdoin||So.||Mill Valley, Calif.|
|D||Joe Vella||Williams||Jr.||Manlius, N.Y.|
|GK||Dan Hicks||Bowdoin||Jr.||New York, N.Y.|
|Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Coach of the Year|