Hess and Petrasso earn top Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer honors; Six Camels named to all-conference team

November 4, 2009 | 1 Comment

BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Doug Hess and Vince Petrasso of Campbell University earned top honors Thursday when the 2009 Atlantic Sun Conference men's soccer post-season honors were announced. Hess was named A-Sun Coach of the Year for the third time in the last five seasons. Petrasso was selected as A-Sun Player of the Year and first-team all-conference after the Camels captured their second-straight league regular season title and third in the past five campaigns.

Senior Justin Madrid, junior Khalil Johnson and freshman Mitchell Cardenas were named to the all-conference second team. Cardenas was joined on the all-freshman squad by teammates Justin Smith and Keegan Terry.

"The fact that we have only one guy named to the first team and we won the regular season championship speaks to the fact that we are a committee, and our success in league play was not based on one player," said Hess, who guided the Camels to a 7-1-1 A-Sun record (8-9-1 overall). "One of the more impressive points to me this year has been the play of our freshmen and their ability to contribute right away."

Over the past five years, Campbell has produced a 32-5-5 won-lost-tied record in Atlantic Sun regular season play, tops in the conference. The Camels were unbeaten in 18-straight league contests (16-0-2), a mark that stood as the longest in the nation, until last month's loss at Florida Gulf Coast. However, CU won its final two conference games over North Florida (3-1) and defending tournament champ Jacksonville (2-1) to claim its fourth league trophy in the last five seasons.

Petrasso already ranks 24th on Campbell's career scoring leaders with 53 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 66 matches. He was the 2007 A-Sun Tournament MVP, a first-team all-conference pick in ‘08 and unanimous choice for the ‘09 pre-season all-league squad.

As a senior, he leads the A-Sun and ranks fourth nationally in assists per game with 10 in 17 outings. He was named A-Sun player of the week on Monday after scoring once and producing a pair of assists in wins over UNF and Jacksonville. He finished the regular season with 18 points on four goals and 10 assists.

The senior from Woodbridge, Ontario has accounted for 22 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in his last 16 A-Sun regular season games dating to 2008. Twelve of Petrasso's 18 points this year came during eight conference games, when he scored three times and set up six other goals.

"Vinny has been one of the most dangerous players in the league over the last four years," said Hess. "I'm real excited for Vince to receive this honor, particularly this year. He had some ups and downs, coming in with an injury from playing with the Cary Clarets in PDL this summer and having to play as a marked man all year, but he was a key figure once again in the month of October during conference play."

Despite losing four All-South performers from last year's club that won the A-Sun regular season title and earned the program's first-ever Division I year-end national ranking, Hess and his staff again in 2009 assembled a squad that finished on top of the A-Sun table for the third time in five years.

"A coach of the year honor is a result of the ability of our players and the efforts of the entire coaching staff," said Hess. "It's not about me, but a testament to the quality of our program."

Hess is only the third A-Sun coach to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons. Hess and the Camels suffered only one regular season conference loss (16-1-1) over the past two campaigns. With the 2009 award, Hess trails only Glen Evans in career conference coaches' honors. The Centenary coach earned the honor four times in his career including three consecutive years from 1988-1990. Campbell's Derrick Leeson also won a pair of A-Sun coach of the year trophies (1995, 1997) during his tenure.

The A-Sun player of the year award went to a Camel for the second-straight year and third time in five seasons. Petrasso joined Richard Jata (2008), Willy Guadarrama (2005) and Toni Siikala (1995) on the list of Camels to be named the league's top performer in men's soccer.

A red-shirt senior, Madrid has helped the Camels to the A-Sun finals in each of his first three seasons (2005, ‘07, ‘08) as well as three league regular season titles (‘05, ‘08, ‘09). The two-year captain from Yorktown, Va. was presented the squad's Glen Brewster Memorial Award for Leadership and Courage in both 2008 and 2009. Madrid will set the school career record for matches played (83) next Thursday in the A-Sun semifinal round.

Cardenas earned second-team all-league as well as all-freshman honors after ranking among the A-Sun leaders in points (6th, 15), goals (9th, 5) and assists (3rd, 5). The midfielder from Spring, Texas (College Park High School) produced a pair of game-winning goals - at Belmont and at Mercer - in league play and was the conference's second-leading scorer among freshmen during the regular season.

Johnson earned all-league recognition for the first time in his career. The junior from Kingston, Jamaica was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com national team of the week on Oct. 12 after he scored three goals in a league match vs. USC Upstate four days earlier. Johnson produced the single-game highs for the conference in goals (3) and points (6) during the 2009 campaign. He finished the regular season with four goals, including one game-winner in 17 games.

Smith and Terry also were named to the A-Sun all-freshman team. A midfielder from Cary, N.C. (Green Hope HS), Smith produced seven of his 10 points this season in conference games. He scored at Lipscomb, Belmont and Stetson, and registered an assist in the win over USC Upstate. For his collegiate rookie year, Smith played in 17 games with one start and had four goals and two assists.

In his first collegiate season, Terry tied for the conference lead with three game-winning goals, all of which came against A-Sun opponents. He ranked third on the team and eighth in the conference with 13 points on four goals and five assists (3rd in the A-Sun). Terry's 1.62 points per game tally in league matches ranked second in the A-Sun.

The product of Carrollton, Texas (Hebron HS) delivered game-winners against East Tennessee State, Stetson and Jacksonville and scored CU's first goal while setting up the winner in a 3-1 victory at Belmont. Terry had two assists, including one on Kevin Orozco's game-winner, in a 3-1 win over North Florida.

Stetson senior back Robert Hodge was named A-Sun defensive player of year, becoming the first Hatter to earn the award. The native of Devon, England posted seven points on the season with two goals on six shots. He helped Stetson produce a conference-leading plus-0.53 goal margin and the nation's 13th-best winning percentage.

Brandon Tarr earned Belmont's first men's soccer freshman of the year award after he scored eight goals during the regular season and ranked second in conference. The Nashville, Tenn. native's 1.38 points per game leads the A-Sun entering the league tournament.

On Thurs., Nov. 12, A-Sun Championship semifinal play begins at 4:00 p.m. with second-seeded Stetson facing the winner of Saturday's Lipscomb at East Tennessee State first-round match. The winner of Saturday's Mercer at North Florida contest will square off against top-seeded Campbell on Thurs., Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. The final is slated for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off on Sat., Nov. 14.

Courtesy of gocamels.com


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