Riggs Named MVC Goalkeeper of the Year; Five Bears Earn All-MVC Honors
Missouri State senior goalkeeper Alex Riggs was named the Missouri Valley Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, the league announced today. He also was one of five Missouri State men's soccer players named to all-conference teams. Riggs and junior defender Gerard Barbero were named to first-team All-MVC. Fellow juniors Heath Melugin and Jordan Hoffman were named to the second team and honorable mention squads, respectively. Dan Williams received an MVC All-Freshman nod.
Riggs, the 2009 MVC Defensive Player of the Year, did not disappoint in his senior campaign. He was selected to the All-MVC first team for the third consecutive season. Twice this season, October 11 and October 25, and six times in his career, he was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week.
Riggs currently leads the MVC in goal against average (0.66), save percentage (.864) and shutouts (9). Six of his shutouts this season have come against conference foes. He ranks second on the Missouri State career list in shutouts (23), goals against average (0.91), saves (273), matches started in net (61) and minutes played in goal (5,844).
Barbero made the position switch from midfielder to defender this season. His offense didn't suffer, nor did the Bears' backline. He aided the Bears' in racking up 10 shutouts in their 17 matches played this season. He also has scored five goals, added three assists and totaled 13 points, second on the team in each category. Earlier this season, he converted penalty kicks in back-to-back matches against Drake (Oct. 16) and Evansville (Oct. 20), the first Bears to do so since 1993. Barbero earned MVC Defensive Player of the Week accolades on November 1 after leading the Bears' defense to three straight shutouts.
Melugin earned All-MVC second team and was MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week on October 27. He was also named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-District VII first team and a State Farm MVC Good Neighbor award recipient this year. He leads the team with seven goals, 46 shots and 21 shots on goal. His two game-winning goals are second-best on the team.
Hoffman has been an influential piece of the Bears' offense this season. He scored two goals this season, including the game-winner over IUPUI on September 12. He has registered a career-high 23 shots on the season, third-best on the team.
Dan Williams was the lone Bear named to the MVC All-Freshman team this year. He has earned valuable playing time down the stretch, starting the last eight matches for the Bears. His only assist of the season came on the game-winning goal against Memphis on October 26. He has registered 10 shots on the season and has been a primary free kick and corner taker of late.
The All-Missouri Valley Conference Team was honored at a banquet Thursday night in Peoria, Ill. Missouri State will face SIU Edwardsville at 3:00 p.m. in Friday's first semifinal match. The league's championship match will take place this Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1:06 p.m. The State Farm MVC Tournament championship match will air live on the Fox Sports Midwest, while the Bears semifinal match is available for free on Bears Live at MissouriStateBears.com.