LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty forward Tresor Mbuyu was selected the 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year, as the Big South men's soccer awards were announced this morning by the conference office.
Mbuyu was joined by midfielder Kevin Mendoza and defender Kyle Carr on the Big South All-Conference first team.
In addition, goalkeeper James Knoebel and Rigoberto Rojas were named to the 2016 All-Freshman team, while defender Nico Bellarde earned all-academic team honors.
Mbuyu becomes the first Liberty player to be named the Big South Attacking Player of the Year and becomes the second Flame selected as a Big South Player of the Year. Current Liberty assistant coach Jose Gomez was named the Big South Player of the Year in 2000.
Also earning all-conference first team honors, Mbuyu is among the Big South leaders in goals, assists and points. In his first season at Liberty, the forward leads the conference with 28 points and is tied for the lead with 10 goals. He is second in the league with eight assists.
Mbuyu enters the weekend among the nation’s top 20 players in goals and assists. The sophomore’s point total is the most by a Flame since Darren Amoo had 33 points in 2009. In addition, the Charlotte, N.C., native’s eight assists tie him with 10 other Liberty players for fourth on the program’s season list.
Mendoza garners all-conference honors for the second consecutive year. After receiving honorable mention honors in 2015, the midfielder was selected to the all-conference first team, this year. The sophomore is second on the Flames with six goals and four assists for 16 points.
He is tied for fifth in the Big South in points and seventh in goals.
Mendoza scored a goal in three consecutive matches from Oct. 8 through Oct. 21, including Big South victories over Campbell and Gardner-Webb. In addition, the Mexico City, Mexico, native scored a career-high five points, two goals and an assist, in a 4-3 conference win at Winthrop on Sept. 24.
In his senior season at Liberty, Carr receives his first all-conference team selection. The defender has started 14 matches and played in 15 for the Flames, this season. One of two Liberty team captains, Carr has provided steady play for a defense which has recorded four shutouts in 2016.
The Indialantic, Fla., native has one assist on the season. He assisted on a goal in the Flames’ 4-3 win at Winthrop on Sept. 24.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper James Knoebel and forward Rigoberto Rojas garner 2016 All-Freshman team honors. Knoebel has started 15 matches for Liberty this season. The redshirt freshman has posted a 1.60 goals-against average, a .713 save percentage and four shutouts. Rojas is tied for third in the Big South with six assists. The forward has also scored three goals and has 12 points.
Liberty, the No. 4 seed for the Big South Men’s Soccer Championship, will host No. 5 seed Presbyterian at Osborne Stadium on Sunday. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m.