Lutes Place Remarkable Number On NWC Teams
In the newly released All-Northwest Conference list, the Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team placed an astounding 11 players on the three teams. Spencer Augustin led the Lutes, earning top offensive honors, as well. The 11 members is the highest amount a PLU men's soccer team has placed on the all conference list since the Northwest Conference joined the NCAA.
Leading the Lutes on First Team All-NWC were seniors Spencer Augustin, Chad Kearns, and Surafel Wodajo and junior Greg Noll. Augustin (19 goals, nine assists) and Kearns (13 goals, seven assists) teamed up to make the most lethal forward pairing in the conference, and combined to lead virtually every offensive category. Kearns makes the first team for the third consecutive season, and Augustin makes the team for the first time as a Lute. Wodajo makes the First Team for the second consecutive season after his 16 assists in 2011 eclipsed all competition in the NWC. The mark not only broke the PLU single-season assist record of 13 set by Jay Pettit in 2003, but it also placed Wodajo first all-time in PLU men's soccer history with 37 assists. Joining these offensive powers on first team is junior Greg Noll. Noll, a three-year starter at center-back for the Lutes, is given the honor for his staunch defensive record this season. The 6-foot defender, who led the Lutes in minutes this season, makes an all-conference team for the first time in his collegiate career.
Augustin was also named the NWC Offensive Player of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments thus far in 2011. Last season, Kearns earned the honor for his 15 goals and five assists.
Making the second team for the Lutes were Joe Rayburn, Shane Gutierrez, and Lucas McCallum. Rayburn boasts a 0.94 goals against average and an overall record of 15-3 this season. The tall redhead from Portland, Ore. made several crucial saves along the way to lead the Lutes to the first NCAA national championship appearance in program history. While not showing it on the stat sheets, Gutierrez held down the Lute midfield with his cool and collected play in the center of the park. The junior is recognized for the first time in his PLU career, and has played the 7th most minutes this season of Lute field players. Joining these two on second team was Lucas McCallum. Coming off the bench in the majority of games, McCallum has scored seven goals in 2011, including the game-winner in overtime against UW-Whitewater.
Rounding out the list of Lutes making All-NWC teams are Honorable Mention selections Joe Olenginski, Giancarlo Santoro, Kevin Wien, and Aaron Grossberg. Olenginski, a hard-nosed defensive midfielder, is given the honor without having recorded a point in 2011. His selection shows the impact Olenginski has in his central midfield role and in shutting down opposing attacks. Santoro repeats his honorable mention selection from a year ago after tallying one goal and two assists this season. Freshman Kevin Wien earns honorable mention praise after starting fifteen games for the Lutes at center-back, and scoring two goals on set pieces. Senior Aaron Grossberg has been given Honorable Mention All-NWC for the second straight season for his play at outside-back in 2011.
With 11 members on the three all-conference squads, the Lutes set the program record for most players on All-NWC teams since the conference joined the NCAA. Click here to view the complete All-NWC list.
The Lutes kickoff postseason play this Saturday when they take on the University of Redlands Bulldogs at 5:00 p.m. in the First Round of the NCAA Division III National Tournament. Follow live stats at http://livestats.prestosports.com/redlands/, or listen to it live at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/plu.portal#.
- PLU -