KANSAS CITY, K.S. - The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has released its NCAA Division I All-American teams for the 2012 season and a pair of Lobos have been honored as top players in the country. Senior Devon Sandoval was named to the Second Team All-America while Kyle Venter made Third Team All-America.
The pair's honors give the program nine NSCAA All-Americans since the 2004 season. Lobos have received All-American honors from the NSCAA and the national media on 21 different occasions in the past decade. Of the 33 honorees this year, Kyle Venter was one of only eight student-athletes to repeat as NSCAA All-Americans.
For Devon Sandoval this marks the first All-American accolade of his college career. Sandoval was one of 15 semifinalists for prestigious MAC-Hermann Award and finished third in the public vote with over 10,000 votes. The senior from Albuquerque was First Team All-Conference in the MPSF this season. Sandoval was the MPSF Player of the Week on three separate occasions in addition to his three TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week appearances.
He finished the 2012 season among the nation's scoring leaders with 15 goals and seven assists. His senior campaign put him sixth all-time in program history for goals and points in a season. Sandoval leaves Albuquerque fifth in school history and goals and ninth in career points.
For Kyle Venter this year's All-American award is his second. Venter was a NSCAA Second Team All-American in 2011. Venter's junior season saw him register two goals and an assist from his defender position. He was part of a New Mexico backline that was among the NCAA's leaders in fewest goals allowed. Venter and the rest of the Lobos recorded eleven shutouts this season including seven consecutive clean sheets to end the regular season.
The Aurora, Colorado native also received First Team All-Conference honors in the MPSF while being named to TopDrawerSoccer's Second Team National All-Season Team. Venter received National Team of the Week honors from TopDrawerSoccer in late October as well.
Venter and the rest of the returning Lobos will begin play as a Conference USA member in 2013, and they will be looking to make the program's tenth NCAA Tournament appearance in twelve seasons.
New Mexico NSCAA All-Americans