December 17, 2011

Record five Bobcats named to NSCAA all-region teams

KANSAS CITY, Kan. --- Lees-McRae College senior defender Luke Duffy (Wakefield, England) earned a spot on the first team for the second time in his career to pace a program-record five Bobcats on the NSCAA NCAA Division II all-Southeast Region teams, announced NSCAA officials Saturday.

Duffy paced the Bobcats with a first-team selection, as senior Luke Staats (Almere, Netherlands) and freshman James Smith (Eastbourne, England) each earned a spot on the second team. Sophomores Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) and James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) also represented the Bobcats on the third team.

Lees-McRae (15-6-1) put together a strong season in Lee Squires' first year at the helm, finishing runner-up for both the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. The Bobcats posted a 15-6-1 overall record, while going 9-2 in conference play.

Duffy nets his third straight all-region recognition from the NSCAA, earning first team honors for the second time in his career. A native of Wakefield, England, Duffy recently became the second player in program history to earn all-Conference Carolinas honors in four consecutive seasons, earning first-team recognition for the third straight year. The senior defender helped the Bobcat backline keep five clean sheets, while tallying one goal and two assists this season.

Staats earns all-Southeast Region honors from the NSCAA for the first time in his career, netting second team recognition after garnering his second straight all-Conference Carolinas selection earlier this fall. The Almere, Netherlands native helped the Bobcat backline keep five clean sheets this season to go with four assists, including three helpers on match-winning goals.

Smith put together a strong freshman campaign with the Bobcats, leading Lees-McRae with eight assists while also scoring six goals to finish the season ranked second on the team with 20 points. The Eastbourne, England native also garnered all-conference second team honors this season, and ended the campaign ranked 26th in the nation in total assists and 59th in helpers per match (0.36).

Galvani garners all-region honors from Daktronics for the second straight season, earning a spot on the third team after leading the Bobcats in goals (11), points (26) and match-winners (three). A native of High Wycombe, England, Galvani also earned all-conference first team honors earlier this season, and currently ranks 40th in the nation in total goals and 44th in total points.

Rusling put together a solid sophomore campaign with the Bobcats this fall, posting a 7-2 record in conference play to go along with four clean sheets and a 1.26 goals against average. The Sheffield, England native has allowed one goal or less in 11 matches this season, including five clean sheets and a pair of victories over nationally-ranked teams Flagler College and Coker College.

Lees-McRae is expected to return 17 letter-winners from this year's Conference Carolinas Western Division Champion squad, including all-conference selections Smith, Galvani, and Rusling.

- LMC -