THOMASVILLE, NC - The Lees-McRae Bobcats men's soccer team earned seven All - Conference Carolinas awards, including Player of the Year and Coach of the Year recognition, as announced by Conference Carolinas at the Honors Banquet Luncheon during this weekend's Conference Carolinas Championship Soccer Tournament. The banquet was held at the Murphy Regional Center on the Mount Olive College campus as they play host for the tournament championship for the second consecutive year.
Head Coaches from conference member institutions nominate and then vote upon the award winners who represented the best of the best for the conference in 2007. The Bobcats, Conference Carolinas Regular Season Champion and number one seed in the Tournament, are currently ranked number one in the Southeast Region and number two in the nation. Third year Head Coach Chris Whalley was rewarded with Coach of the Year honors while junior forward Berin Boracic was named Player of the Year. Five of seven members of nationally ranked Bobcats who were honored picked up First Team accolades for the first time in their careers.
Chris Whalley - 2007 Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year
The third year Head Coach has shaped the Bobcats into a powerhouse in the south after starting on the Bobcats sidelines as an assistant for one season. After starting the season unranked, the Bobcats began receiving votes in the NSCAA/adidas National Poll after week one with a 2-0 record and outscoring opponents 14-1 over the two games. In week two the Bobcats were rewarded with a #19 ranking with their 4-0 record and achieved their highest ranking in program history at the time moving up to 11th in the nation in week three. An overtime loss to conference foe Anderson on the road, their only blemish this season, dropped the Bobcats down to 18th, however the Bobcats responded with three consecutive shutouts over the next two weeks to climb to #7 and #3 in the country respectively, before moving to number two in the nation in week seven, a position they have held since October 2nd. The Bobcats finished the regular season on the road with an 11-0 win over Chowan University, tying a single game high for goals scored in one game this season. The Bobcats 3.73 goals scored per game is the highest scoring offense in the country while their 0.67 goals against average is the best in Conference Carolinas and tenth in the nation. Since the loss to the Trojans on September 15th, Whalley has led the Bobcats to twelve consecutive wins, and a current record of 17-1-1. The Bobcats 9-1 Conference Carolinas record this season helped them to their first Regular Season Championship since 2001.
Berin Boracic - 2007 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year; First Team All-Conference Carolinas
After earning Second Team All Conference, Second Team NSCAA All Region and NCCSIA All State honors in 2006, Boracic has padded his resume with First Team All Conference honors while being named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year. The Orlando, FL native has started each game this season, earning three Conference Player of the Week awards in his junior season while leading the conference in assists and finishing second in points behind teammate Lee Squires. Boracic has registered six multi goal games this season, scored at least once in ten games and been held completely off of the score sheet just six times. Boracic' 17 goals, 9 assists, and 43 points are all career season highs. Boracic currently sits 12th in the nation in points per game (2.21), and 13th in goals per game (0.89).
Lee Squires - First Team All-Conference Carolinas
Squires first season of collegiate soccer has been a memorable one. The Sheffield, England native has set the single season goal scoring record with 21 so far, breaking the previous record 19 set by current MLS player Khano Smith. Squires has earned Conference Player of the Week twice the season, and also added six assists to lead Conference Carolinas with 48 points this season. His 2.4 points per game average is seventh best in the nation while his 1.05 goals per game rank him ninth.
Matt Lacey - First Team All-Conference Carolinas
Lacey picks up First Team honors for the first time in his career after earning Second Team All Conference and Second Team NSCAA All Region accolades last season. Lacey is the epitome of what a center midfielder should be. The Norwich, England native has started all sixteen games he has played in, influencing the outcome at both ends of the field and acting as a general on the field. Lacey helps out in the defensive end of the field while also creating opportunities offensively for himself as well as his forwards, Boracic and Squires. Offensively, the redshirt sophomore and team captain has set new single season career highs in assists (7) and points (23 - 8 goals, 7 assists).
Dale Parker - First Team All-Conference Carolinas
After missing the start of his freshman campaign a year ago, Parker returned to the pitch to play in the Bobcats final ten games in 2006. The sophomore has started each game this season and cemented himself as an anchor of Conference Carolinas best defensive team to a 0.67 goals against average with ten shutouts this season and conceding only 14 goals in 20 games. A native of Worksop, England, Parker has also chipped in offensively, with three goals and an assist.
Sean Paradise - First Team All-Conference Carolinas
After earning the starting job out of training camp, Paradise has not looked back. In eighteen games, the sophomore has conceded just ten goals, earned eight shutouts, and two shared shutouts while leading Conference Carolinas in goals against average and save percentage. The North Point, FL native's 0.61 goals against average is also ranked eighth in the nation, while his .855 save percentage is ninth. During the season, Paradise was in goal for more than 504 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal. After three straight shutouts, Paradise was relieved after 55 minutes and a 3-0 lead against Coker. Paradise earned one more shutout against North Georgia in his next start to extend the streak to 415 minutes before the Bobcats conceded a goal to St. Andrews in the 89th minute of a 3-1 win. After giving up a goal to Mount Olive in the 75th minute of a 5-1 win, Paradise has strung together more than 195 minutes without conceding a goal after back to back shutouts against Belmont Abbey in the Conference finale and Erskine in quarterfinal tournament action. The All Conference honors are the first for Paradise in his two year collegiate career.
Kyle McGimsey - Second Team All-Conference Carolinas
A junior from Plant City, FL, McGimsey picks up All Conference honors for the first time in his career. The speedy midfielder has set a new single season career high with eight goals this season while also contributing four assists to sit fourth in scoring on the best offensive team in the nation. McGimsey's 20 total points are also a new single season career high, helping him earn All Conference honors for the first time in his career.
Tom Brailsford - Third Team All-Conference Carolinas
A freshman defender from Rotherham, England, Tom Brailsford has stepped into the backline of the number two team in the country and looked like a seasoned veteran. The left back earns All Conference honors in his first season of collegiate soccer, helping the Bobcats to a Conference best 0.67 goals against average and ten shutouts, including a streak of more than 340 minutes with three consecutive shutouts. Brailsford has helped out offensively also, scoring once and using great placement of the ball from both his back line position and the corner for eight assists, second best in Conference Carolinas.
2007 Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Award Winners:
Coach of the Year
Chris Whalley, Lees-McRae
Player of the Year
Berin Boracic, Lees-McRae
Freshman of the Year
Michael McEmerson, Limestone
Dale Parker, Lees-McRae
Chad Pinnick, Queens
Dirk Jansson, Belmont Abbey
Berin Boracic, Lees-McRae
Lee Squires, Lees-McRae
Matthew Harris, Pfeiffer
Ali Benson, Limestone
Matt Lacey, Lees-McRae
Tom Beattie, Limestone
Renato Barbosa, Pfeiffer
Sean Paradise, Lees-McRae
Adam Ennis, Limestone
Kyle Fenner, Belmont Abbey
Brad Sisk, Pfeiffer
Justin Garton, St. Andrews
Luis Arrieta, Belmont Abbey
Michael McEmerson, Limestone
Lahnden Onger, Anderson
Aaron Doyle, Queens
Kyle McGimsey, Lees-McRae
Sean Boyle, Limestone
Dan Williams, Queens
Tom Brailsford, Lees-McRae
Evan Sprinkle, Queens
Jamin Ferris, St. Andrews
Kyle Bennett, Erskine
Franz Destin, Erskine
Brian Souza, Belmont Abbey
Doug McMahen, Coker
Jerry Momoh, St. Andrews
Paulo Passini, Anderson
Paul Goding, Belmont Abbey
Ryan Robinson, Limestone
PICTURED TOP LEFT: Player of the Year Berin Boracic
PICTURED BOTTOM LEFT: Coach of the Year Chris Whalley
PICTURED BOTTOM RIGHT: Sean Paradise