Vienna, W.Va.—The Great Midwest Athletic Conference held their annual awards banquet on Wednesday night, prior to the resumption of the 2017 Great Midwest Men's Soccer Championships. The Ohio Valley University men's soccer program was well represented when the Individual Awards and All-Conference teams were announced.
Head Coach Luis Rincon was voted the conference Coach of the Year. The turnaround that the OVU soccer program has experienced in the three years that Rincon has been at the helm has been well documented. After Saturday's quarterfinal win over Walsh University, he now holds the program record for career wins.
"Knowing that it is the other coaches in the conference that vote on this award is very humbling," said Coach Rincon. "It is good anytime that you receive recognition from your peers for the hard work that you put in. My staff has done an outstanding job supporting me, and keeping the guys motivated all season-long. This is a result of three-years of hard work to build this program," he continued. "I have been blessed with mentors who have showed me what it takes to build a nationally recognized program, and that is what I have strived to do here at Ohio Valley," Rincon finished.
Junior forward Celso Riveros (Asuncion, Paraguay) was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Riveros leads the Scots in goals scored with 11. That mark is tied for second-best in the conference. He also ranks top-10 in game winning goals. In addition to the individual award Riveros was named to the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team.
Senior goalkeeper Carlos Rubio was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Rubio has played every minute of every match in goal for Ohio Valley, and has been named the conference player of the week twice this season. He also picked up a national player of the week honor in September. His goals against average of .407 and shutouts per game mark of .684 are best in the conference. He has recorded 13 clean sheets, which is best in the entire country. Like his teammate, Rubio was also named to the All-Conference First Team.
Joining Riveros and Rubio on the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team was sophomore midfielder Nicolas Rodriguez (Boca Raton, Florida). He is third best on the team with 19 points (7 goals and 5 assists). He has been a strong presence for the Scots controlling movement of the ball in the middle of the pitch.
Five players: Guillermo Segovia (Madrid, Spain), Javier Rodriguez (Murcia, Spain), Jeremiah Yondah (Monrovia, Liberia), Ignacio Diaz (Madrid, Spain) and Camilo Sarmiento (Bogota, Colombia) all received Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team honors.
Segovia and Rodriguez are vital members of a Fighting Scots offensive attack that is averaging 2.6 goals per game, good enough for second-best in the entire conference.
Yondah serves a critical role from his centerback position, winning balls in the air and keeping things organized in the middle of the field. Sarmiento and Diaz are two key pieces of the defensive backline that have contributed mightily to the 13 shutouts. They have kept things clean for Rubio all year long as he has only been asked to make 44 saves in 19 matches.
"I am proud of each and every one of these guys," said Rincon. "We play in a very competitive conference, and to have eight players receive these honors is outstanding. It's very special for the guys like Carlos and Jeremiah who have been with the program for the past three years. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to the point we are at right now," he continued. "These awards are great, but the season is not over for us. One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win the conference championship, we can take another step towards that tomorrow morning," Rincon finished.
The Scots have a semifinal matchup with the #5 seed Cedarville University tomorrow morning. The match is set for an 11:00am kickoff from the North Turf Athletic Field on the campus of Muskingum University.
Live coverage will be provided by the Great Midwest Digital Network.
To keep up to date with everything surrounding the women's soccer program this year follow @ovu_athletics on Twitter and Instagram, like Ohio Valley University Athletics on Facebook or visit fightingscots.ovu.edu
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Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.