DALLAS, Texas – Conference USA has released their men’s soccer all-conference awards for the 2013 season, and the University of New Mexico men’s soccer program shined in the post season awards list. New Mexico, the C-USA regular season champions, tied a program record with 13 all-conference awards as a team. They were led by Kyle Venter who was the Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year alongside Freshman of the Year Christopher Wehan. Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein was Coach of the Year while nine Lobos made the all-conference and all-freshmen teams.
Senior defender Kyle Venter was joined on the All-Conference USA First Team by teammates Michael Calderon and Ben McKendry. Calderon was a member of the Preseason All-Conference USA Team and McKendry was the Newcomer of the Year last season in the MPSF. The two midfielders have combined for ten goals and four assists this season.
Mathew Gibbons, another member of the New Mexico backline, was the only Lobo voted to the second team. Gibbons is part of UNM backline that has helped record eight shutouts this season. Following Gibbons, a trio of players represented the Lobos on the all-conference third team.
Forward James Rogers, midfielder Michael Kafari and goalkeeper Michael Lisch all received third team honors. Rogers is second on the team in scoring with six goals and five assists. Both he and Kafari received all-conference accolades last season as well. First year goalkeeper Michael Lisch leads the conference in shutouts (eight) and goals allowed average (0.80 gaa). His all-conference selection is the first of his career.
The conference coach of the year award is the fifth of Jeremy Fishbein’s New Mexico career. He was the MPSF Coach of the Year or co-Coach of the Year in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2011.
New Mexico led the conference in awards with 13 in their first season as a C-USA member. Behind the Lobos were Charlotte and Tulsa with seven awards and Old Dominion and UAB with six awards. UNM’s 13 total all-conference awards tied the program record, which last happened in the 2006 season.
The Lobos, who clinched the Conference USA regular season title on Saturday, have earned a first-round bye in the Conference USA Tournament. The 2013 regular season conference championship is the program’s eighth season title since 2002. Coach Fishbein and the Lobos will face the winner of Tulsa and South Carolina who are the fourth and fifth seeded teams in the tournament. The Lobos will take on either the Golden Hurricane or the Gamecocks on Friday, November 15 at 3 p.m. (MST) on the campus of the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
Lobos and All-Conference USA Awards
Most Valuable Player: Kyle Venter
Defensive Player of the Year: Kyle Venter
Freshman of the Year: Christopher Wehan
Coach of the Year: Jeremy Fishbein
All-Conference USA First Team
All-Conference USA Second Team
All-Conference USA Third Team
Conference USA All-FreshmenTeam