MENS SOCCER NETS DEFENSIVE PLAYER, GOALKEEPER & COACHING STAFF OF THE YEAR AND SEVEN ATHLETES GARNER CONFERENCE HONORS
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -
Senior back Joe Annese (Attleboro, Mass.), junior
goalkeeper Colin O'Donnell (Springfield, Mass.)
and the University of New Hampshire men's soccer coaching staff all
earned annual America East honors, the conference announced
Annese was named Defender of the Year, O'Donnell was honored as Goalkeeper of the Year, and Rob Thompson and his assistant Ewan Seabrook were selected as the Coaching Staff of the Year.
Joining both Annese and O'Donnell on the All-Conference First Team is senior forward Chris Banks (Westborough, Mass.), who earlier in the week was selected as the America East Men's Soccer Fans' Choice Player of the Year.
Sophomore midfielder Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H.) earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team and forward Charlie Roche (Haverhill, Mass.), midfielder Josh Bronner (Belchertown, Mass.) and back Alex Hussein (Haverhill, Mass.) were all named to the conference All-Rookie Team.
Annese played in 15 games, including 13 starts, tallying two goals on five shots this season. His first score was a game-winner on a penalty kick in 38th minute to lead the ‘Cats to a 2-1 victory over Colgate on Sept. 19. His second tally came in a double-overtime tie against Stony Brook on Oct. 24, striking the back of the net on a penalty kick in the ninth minute of play.
O'Donnell was a rock in net for the ‘Cats this season, ranking first in the conference in goals against average and save percentage with marks of 0.65 and .850, respectively. He also compiled 51 saves this year, a total that ranks fifth in the conference.
Banks played in 17 games, starting in 16, for the Wildcats this season. He finishes the regular season with a team best 16 points on six goals and a career-high four assists. Four of his six goals this season are game-winners, a mark that ties a career high he set in 2006. In addition, his 11 points and four goals in America East play both rank second in the conference.
Hilton started in all 17 games for the ‘Cats this season, totaling three assists, and tallying 14 shots. Two of those three assists came in wins against Bryant on Sept. 26 and Hartford on Oct. 14.
Roche, who played in all 17 games, including seven starts, ranked fourth on the team in points with five, tallying two goals and an assist to round out the year. Bronner started in all 17 games for the ‘Cats, tallying a goal and notching 12 shots. As for Hussein, he played in 16 games, including 15 starts, providing stellar defense and posting five shots.
The Wildcats wrap up the season with a 9-6-2 record and a 6-0-1 mark in conference play. New Hampshire rounds out the year with its first regular-season crown since 1994 and their first outright title ever. It is the first time since 1997 that a team completed the conference schedule without a loss. It is also the Wildcats' best conference record since also compiling a 6-0-1 mark in 1994.
UNH returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when they host the winner of Saturday's America East conference tournament quarterfinal matchup between UMBC and Binghamton. Game time is set for 1 p.m.