Prior to the start of the season, Pacific Lutheran men's soccer head coach John Yorke wasn't sure who would provide the goals during the 2012 season. Now, one of the major answers to the question has earned Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Emmanuel Amarh (Sarpsbog, Norway / Greaaker Vgs), a freshman forward, led the conference in goals (9) and in total points (24) to earn the vote of the conference coaches. He becomes the third consecutive PLU player to earned Offensive Player of the Year honors following Chad Kearns in 2010 and Spencer Augustin in 2011.
Amarh was one of two Pacific Lutheran forwards named to the all-conference first team. Junior Derek Johnson (Tacoma, Wash. / Franklin Pierce HS), who also scored nine goals while finishing one assist behind Amarh with five, joined his teammate on the team. PLU's other first team selection was junior midfielder Giancarlo Santoro (Sammamish, Wash. / Skyline HS), who finished the season with four goals and three assists. Santoro was a honorable mention all-conference pick in 2011.
PLU junior goalkeeper Joe Rayburn (Portland, Ore. / Sunset HS) and senior midfielder Shane Gutierrez (Lake Tapps, Wash. / Auburn Riverside HS) both earned all-conference second team distinction for the second consecutive season. Rayburn finished the season with a 10-6-1 record and a 1.18 goals against average, while Gutierrez contributed two goals and five assists for the Lutes, who tied for second in the NWC standings. Joining that duo on the second team was sophomore defender Kevin Wien (Lake Tapps, Wash. / Auburn Riverside HS), a honorable mention choice in 2011 who started all 19 matches as a central defender for the 2012 Lutes.
Pacific Lutheran's honorable mention picks were sophomore defender Taylor Jackson (Auburn, Wash. / Gonzaga Univ.), junior defender Jeff Piaquadio (Seattle, Wash. / Kennedy Catholic HS) and senior midfielder Brenden Cohen (Tacoma, Wash. / Stadium HS). Jackson started all 19 games, Piaquadio scored two goals in 18 starts, and Cohen had three goals for PLU.
The Lutes finished with a 10-7-2 overall record and a 9-4-1 mark in the conference.
See the entire All-Northwest Conference Men's Soccer Teams by clicking here.
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