Eight Men's Soccer Players Take Home Conference Awards
Nov. 10, 2011
Eight Missouri State men's soccer players were named to all-conference teams announced at the annual banquet held prior to the State Farm MVC Men's Soccer Championship on Thursday evening. Senior forward Heath Melugin highlighted the Bears award winners after being named to the All-MVC first team for the first time in his career.
All five seniors were placed on an all-conference squad as Thomas Vania was named to the second team, while Gerard Barbero, David Buckenheimer and Jordan Hoffman received honorable mention recognition. Three Bears were named to the MVC All-Freshman team including James Fawke, Parker Maher and Andrew Turner.
Melugin has continued his impressive career on and off the field during his senior campaign. The Springfield, Mo. native earned one MVC Offensive Player of the Week honor, two Prairie Farms/MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week awards, and was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District VI first team. Throughout league play, he ranked among the MVC's best in several categories as he was tied for the conference-lead in points (8), goals (3) and game-winning goals (2) heading into the postseason. On the year, the preseason All-MVC selection led the Bears in points, goals, shots, shots on goal and game-winners. With his performances this season, Melugin now ranks fifth on MSU's career list for game-winners (7), seventh in goals (21) and ninth in points (51).
Besides the Missouri State goalkeeper, Vania led the team in minutes played (1,472 of 1,585 total minutes). He is one of just three Bears to have started all 17 matches this season and has compiled 60 career starts. This season, the team captain started as a midfielder, but was called on once again to take over at the center back position for the Bears' backline. After his move to defense, Missouri State limited MVC opponents to three goals on 65 shots, with two scores coming from penalty kicks.
One year removed from being named All-MVC first team, senior Gerard Barbero received an honorable mention nod. Barbero registered 16 starts on the season and compiled six points on one goal and four assists.
Senior midfielder David Buckenheimer joined Vania and goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg as the only Bears to start all 17 matches. With 73 career starts, Buckenheimer ranks fifth on MSU's all-time list for games started.
Hoffman made the All-MVC honorable mention squad after leading the Bears in assists with six. The senior midfielder also scored two goals on the season, both coming in the 6-1 blowout win of Oral Roberts on Sept. 27.
Fawke, Maher and Turner earned All-Freshman honors after combining for 32 starts during their debut seasons.
Missouri State (8-7-2, 5-1-0) will face Drake (11-7-1, 3-3-0) at 3 p.m. in Friday's first semifinal match at Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb. Creighton will host Bradley at 6 p.m. in the other semifinal on Friday. The league's championship match will take place this Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1:06 p.m. For more information on the MVC Tournament, visit missouristatebears.com.
All-MVC First Team
All-MVC Second Team
All-MVC Honorable Mention
MVC All-Freshman Team