LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Senior Matthew Nickell was named SCAC Defensive Player of the Year and Head Coach Don Gregory was tabbed SCAC Coach of the Year to highlight league honors for the Southwestern University men's soccer team released Friday.
Nickell, a senior center back from Aledo, Texas, anchored a Southwestern defense that had eight shutouts and the second-lowest goals against average during the regular season en route to a second-place regular season and SCAC tournament finish. Nickell was consistently the Pirates' most effective and most dangerous player, whether he was placed at center back or at forward where he chipped in with four goals and five assists for 13 points (currently tied for 10th in the SCAC). A two-time All-SCAC First Team selection, Nickell is the first Southwestern player to win SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors in the 11-year history of the award.
Joining Nickell on the All-SCAC First Team was senior midfielder, Steven Resnik. Resnik led the Pirates with 19 points on the year and nine goals. The Austin native scored five game-winning goals including an overtime goal against Colorado College in the SCAC Semifinals to advance to the championship match.
Senior goalkeeper Daniel Poole and junior forward Zack Faulkner was tabbed to the All-SCAC Second Team giving Southwestern four players on the first two all-conference teams. Poole finished his season earning SCAC Tournament Defensive MVP honors while Faulkner was fourth for the Pirates with 12 points. Poole played in all 22 games for Southwestern and posted a 7-4-1 record with seven shutouts and equaled 100 saves in his final season.
A trio of Pirates also earned Honorable Mention accolades with Matthew Chaltain, Kyle Allen and Tim Eamma earning honors. Eamma and Allen completed their senior campaigns while Chaltain was a sophomore from Round Rock.
Gregory earned his second SCAC Coach of the Year honor after leading the Pirates to a second place finish in the regular season and a runner-up finish in the SCAC Postseason Tournament. The Pirates equaled a single-season school record with 14 wins this year and were ranked fifth in the West Region heading into the SCAC tournament. In his 16 years at Southwestern, Gregory has amassed an overall record of 170-123-20 (.575) which includes 92 conference wins – the third-most by any men's soccer coach in SCAC history.
Yuri Ribeiro of Trinity earned SCAC Offensive Player of the Year honors while a pair of first-year players shared Newcomer of the Year honors, Caden MacKenzie from Colorado College and Francisco Vasquez of Trinity.