Delaware Soccer Stars Frimpong, Gimenez, O’Connor Earn NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region Honors
December 9, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Coming off the best season in school history, the University of Delaware men’s soccer team placed three players on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Atlantic Region teams announced Friday afternoon.
Senior forward Evans Frimpong (top right) led the way by earning first team honors while sophomore forward Roberto Gimenez (bottom left) was selected to the second team and senior defender Darren O’Connor (bottom right) was named to the third team.
The three selections are the most all-region selections for Delaware in the same season since landing three on the squad in 1977.
The trio helped lead Delaware to its first CAA championship and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1970. The Blue Hens, who set a school record for wins this season with a record of 13-6-4, upset perennial power Virginia, 1-0, in the first round before falling 1-0 at UCLA in the second round. UCLA will play in the national semifinals this weekend.
“Having the most successful season in the program’s 85 years is of course a credit to the players more than anyone else,” said Delaware sixth-year head coach Ian Hennessy, who led one of the nation’s most remarkable turnarounds as the program went from its first winning season since 1996 to a berth in the NCAA round of 32. “Alongside our team accolades, one can naturally expect to see individual awards as well. The aspect that I am very pleased with is that of the eight regions in the United States, our region in the South-Atlantic is one of the strongest, competing with not only the CAA but with Atlantic Coast Conference teams like Virginia, Maryland and Boston College. Our three UD players are in some pretty special company on these teams.”
Delaware was one of only six schools to place three or more players on the regional teams, joining Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Maryland, Virginia, and James Madison.
Frimpong, who earlier this week was one of 15 semifinalist for the Herrmann Trophy, which recognizes the top player in the country, earned CAA men's soccer Player of the Year accolades this fall after leading the Blue Hens with 29 points on 12 goals and five assists this season. He was the first Delaware player to receive the CAA's top award.
He scored two goals in a game five times during the season and his 12 goals were the seventh highest single season total in UD history. He also tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals. He becomes the first UD player to earn first team all-region honors since forward Dwayne Robinson in 1987.
Gimenez, a first-year player from Calle Calatrava, Spain, also earned first team All-CAA honors this fall and was recognized as the CAA Rookie of the Year. A three-time CAA Rookie of the Week, he ranked second on the team in total points with 27 on 10 goals and seven assists and was second on the team with two game-winning goals.
He scored two goals each vs. Navy and Hofstra and also dished out two assists in the Navy game to contribute six points in the Delaware win. He scored a point in 10 of the first 12 games he played to open the season.
O’Connor, a three-year letterwinner, started all 18 games he played in this season and dished out two assists while anchoring a defensive unit that allowed just 1.25 goals per game and recorded seven shutout during the season, including the 1-0 blanking of Virginia in the NCAA Tournament.
The native of Cork, Ireland earned third team All-CAA honors in both 2010 and 2011 and also was a CAA All-Tournament selection each year.
NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region Teams:
1ST TEAM - GK - Victor Francoz (ODU); D - Shaun Foster (Hofstra), Cyprian Hedrick (Coastal Carolina), Taylor Kemp (Maryland); M - Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina), John Stertzer (Maryland), Paul Wyatt (James Madison); F - Ashton Bennett (Coastal Carolina), Evans Frimpong (Delaware), Yannick Smith (Old Dominion), Casey Townsend (Maryland)
2ND TEAM - GK - Scott Angevine (Coastal Carolina); D - Hunter Jumper (Virginia), Juan Monge Solano (VCU), London Woodberry (Maryland); M - Gideon Asante (ODU), Philip Aseweh (Liberty), Dante Marini (Northeastern); A - Will Bates (Virginia), Roberto Gimenez (Delaware), Tim Hopkinson (ODU), Patrick Innes (JMU)
3RD TEAM - GK - Justin Epperson (JMU); D - Christopher Locandro (Georgia State), Darren O’Connor (Delaware); M - Nicolas Abrigo (Wm. & Mary), Kyle Bekker (Boston College), Mitchell Cardenas (Campbell); F - Iyiola Awosika (Radford), Karo Okiomah (High Point), Jason Johnson (VCU), Brian Ownby (Virginia)