Roberto Giménez Earns CAA Player of the Week; Blue Hens Complete Best Regular Season in Program History
RICHMOND,Va. – Roberto Giménez, tri-captain of the University of Delaware men’s soccer team, earned the first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) player of the week honor of his career after leading the Blue Hens to two big conference wins last week.Delaware’s two wins sealed the Blue Hens' CAA post-season berth for the third time in four years.
Giménez, who earned his last weekly conference honor in 2011 when he was named Rookie of the Week on Oct. 17, totaled three assists in Delaware’s two wins against CAA foes No. 21 William & Mary and Hofstra. The Blue Hens upset nationally ranked William & Mary, 3-1 Wednesday Oct. 30 at Delaware Mini-Stadium. Delaware then went on to earn a 2-1 overtime victory at Hofstra on Sunday Nov. 3 to close out the regular season.
Against the Tribe, Giménez passed out assists on the first and last Delaware goals and assisted on the opening-goal as the Hens handed Hofstra its first home loss of the regular season. The multi-assist performance is the forward’s second of the season. It is also the second time this season Giménez has passed out three assists in two matches.
The Socuéllamos, Spain native currently ranks fourth on the squad in points (12). He has scored three goals and has passed out an impressive six assists in playing just 12 games this season.
“His leadership and commitment to this program from day one have been exemplary and it is nice to see that he is back on track,” said Delaware head coach Ian Hennessy. “He has endured two surgeries and a long comeback, so to say I am pleased for him is an understatement.”
Giménez, along with the rest of the Blue Hens squad, can finish no lower than fifth in the CAA standings. Delaware still has the chance to host a first round CAA quarterfinal match at Delaware Mini-Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9, but the Hens' fate depends on the three conferences contests that will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The Hens' top-five seed is the highest any Delaware team has earned heading into the CAA post-season.
“I have been told by the league office today that there are 27 different scenarios to the play-off schedule based on Wednesday nights results,” said Hennessy. “I think it is a strong testament to the CAA that our highest ranked NCAA team today (William & Mary at #13 ) is just as likely to host the tournament as our lowest ranked (Drexel at #102). It is just one of the compelling reasons that makes our league so strong.”
The Blue Hens finished the regular season with an outstanding 13-4 overall record. The 13 wins set a new Delaware program record for regular-season wins (11 in 1984; 1985). The 13-4 record marks the best turnaround in men’s soccer history, as Delaware was 4-10-4 throughout the 2012 campaign. The Blue Hens have scored 41 total goals for the season, breaking the school record for goals scored in a season (40 in 2011).
Delaware is currently ranked 25th in the NCAA Ranking Percentage Index (RPI). The RPI rankings consist of three factors: Division I winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponent's strength of schedule. RPI is used by the NCAA when evaluating teams for postseason selection.
“I am confident that this year’s team will finish the regular season as the highest ranked team in the 85-year history of the program,” said Hennessy. “I want these student-athletes to be recognized because their effort and talent have seen us play some of the best soccer in my tenure here. It is an NCAA team and for those several thousand home fans we have had over the course of the season, I know they will have enjoyed a special group of players.”
The Hens currently lead the nation in total points with 121. As a whole, the squad has scored 41 goals off of 39 assists this season. Delaware leads in the nation in goals and ranks second in scoring offense (2.50 goals per game).
The Hens will find out their CAA Tournament seed at the conclusion of three conference matches Wednesday evening.