The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced the 2011 NCAA Men’s Soccer Division III All-Region teams recently and four Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels received recognition: Senior center back Mark Lavery (Woodstock, Ga.) and senior midfielder Aaron Walker (Woodstock, Ga.) were tabbed as members of the All-South Atlantic First Team while sophomore defender Nikos Papanikolopoulos (Atlanta) and junior goalkeeper Frank Petersen (Woodstock, Ga.) received Third Team nods.
Just days later, the NSCAA named Lavery to the First Team of the NSCAA/Continental Tire 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer All-America Team. Lavery is the first Stormy Petrel in school history to receive a First Team All-America designation in men’s soccer. He was also named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Defensive Player-of-the-Year.
These individual postseason honors come on the heels of unrivaled team success for an Oglethorpe squad that won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011—all during Oglethorpe’s 50th anniversary year of soccer.
“I’m thrilled that four deserving players like Mark, Aaron, Nikos and Frank were recognized…” said Oglethorpe head men’s soccer coach Jon Akin. “It’s the icing on the cake after all the hard work these kids put in to push us to our first conference title and first trip to the NCAA’s in program history.”
The Oglethorpe University men’s soccer 2011 season will roll on into the middle of November after the team accomplished a couple of program firsts this past weekend. The Stormy Petrels captured their first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship by topping Centre 1-0 in Birmingham on Sunday afternoon and, in the process, clinched the school’s debut trip to the NCAA Tournament!
Still celebrating their first league title, the Petrels learned today that their first round NCAA Tournament game will be against the University of Texas at Tyler on the Patriots campus at 8:00 p.m. Eastern this Thursday, November 10.
The Petrels will bring their 17-3 overall record to Tyler, Texas to face a Patriot squad that is 15-2-2 overall and Sunday winners of the American Southwest Conference Championship. The Petrels and Patriots shared one common opponent from the 2011 season: Southwestern University. Texas-Tyler topped Southwestern 2-1 in their first match of the year back on September 3. Oglethorpe bested Southwestern by the score of 2-0 in last Saturday night’s SCAC Semifinal in Birmingham.
If the Petrels are fortunate enough to top the Patriots on their home field, Oglethorpe will travel down the road to San Antonio, Texas for a Sunday afternoon matchup with conference rival Trinity. To view the entire 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer bracket, go here.
The 2011 Oglethorpe men, coached by Jon Akin, enjoyed a year unlike any other in the program history. The team set a school record by winning twelve straight games during the campaign en route to posting the 17-3-0 overall record. The 17 wins are a program best and the .850 winning percentage is also tops all-time for a team that celebrated 50 years of soccer being played on the campus just this season. The Petrels also posted their best SCAC mark in school history at 8-1 overall and the squad’s success gained national attention when the team appeared in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings for the first time in 50 years.