WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's soccer team had six student-athletes named to the All-Landmark Teams on Wednesday, Nov. 13, as Ben Fernandez was tagged the Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Fernandez on the First Team are Hunter Horvath, and Kevin Romano, while Ethan DaPonte, Joe Taylor and Torsten Meuschke were named to the Second Team.
Fernandez earns his second consecutive All-Landmark honors, after being named to the Second Team in 2012. He becomes the second straight Cardinal to be awarded the Defensive Player of the Year, after classmate Romano did so last season. The Bethesda, Md. native started all 18 games he appeared in at the center back position and helped the Catholic to 12-5-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference tournament. The senior captain also scored one goal in a 2-0 victory over Maine – Fort Kent. For his career, Fernandez has eight goals and one assist.
This is Horvath's third straight appearance on the all-conference team, and second consecutive as a First-Teamer, having earned First Team honors in 2012, and Second Team in 2011. The junior started all 19 games for the Cardinals and helped control the midfield through his ability to distribute the ball and maintain possession for CUA. Horvath had eight points on two goals and four assists this year, for his career he has 19 points in 55 matches played.
Last year's Defensive Player of the Year, Romano started as a defender before moving his way into a midfield position on the flank. He started all 19 games this season and scored four goals with three assists. He tallied two straight game-winning goals against McDaniel and Susquehanna, which earned him the Offensive Player of the Week award on October 14. The week before, the senior was also named the Defensive Player of the Week, after leading CUA to 3-0 shutout over Moravian in conference action; he was also named the ECAC co-player of the week for his contributions. A native of Freehold, N.J., this is Romano's third straight First-Team All-Landmark honor.
DaPonte is making a return to the All-Landmark Second Team, having earned the award in 2011. He was an instrumental part of the Catholic defense, starting all 18 games that he appeared in. The senior captain helped CUA post nine shutouts on the season, including four conference games. The Cardinals allowed only four goals in seven conference games. The Bristol, R.I. native scored his first game-winning goal this season, a header to lead CUA to a 3-2 victory over Washington College on September 25.
This is Taylor's first career All-Landmark honor, earning Second Team laurels for his work on defense. The junior outside defender started all 19 games for the Cardinals and was instrumental in the team's 1.02 goals against average. The Eldersburg, Md. native also tallied an assist in the team's 1-1 draw at Washington & Lee on 9/7.
This year's Second Team accolade is Meuschke's second career All-Landmark appearance after being named to the First Team as a freshman. The junior goalkeeper played and started 15 games for the Cardinals, and posted seven shutouts with allowing just 1.02 goals per game. The Gaithersburg, Md. native had a .787 save percentage and led the Cardinals to an 8-5-2 record when he was on the pitch. Meuschke also picked up his first ever Defensive Player of the Week honor on 11/4 after his 1-0 shutout of Scranton clinched the No. 1 seed for Catholic.
Catholic led all schools with six players selected to the All-Landmark teams. "I am very excited for our guys. We had an excellent regular season and I think that other coaches in the conference recognized that. Obviously having the most players represented is a great honor for the program" said CUA Head Coach Travis Beauchamp.
Though Catholic was knocked out of the Landmark tournament in the semifinal round, the Cardinals received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They will return to action this Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., when they travel to Carlisle, Pa. to take on Franklin & Marshall in the first round at Dickinson College.
The 2013 Landmark Men's Soccer All-Conference Teams:
|First Team||Second Team|
||Sr.||Spring Lake Hts, N.J.||Dane Azeles
||Susquehanna||Sr.||Natick, Mass.||Kevin Kozic
||Holland Twp, N.J.|
||Mexicali, Mexico||Robby Higgins
||Southlake, Texas||Colin McFadden*
||Ventnor City, N.J.|
||Scranton||Gr.||Forty Fort, Pa.
||Mendham, N.J.||Ethan DaPonte||Catholic
||Bethesda, Md.||Nick Weit
||USMMA||Sr.||Hauppauge, N.Y.||Matt Salsman||Susquehanna
* 2012 First Team All-Landmark
^ 2011 First Team All-Landmark
Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Murphy (Susquehanna)
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Fernandez (Catholic)
Rookie of the Year: Michael Bergen (Scranton)
Coach of the Year: Dan Dubois (Juniata)
For more information on CUA men's soccer, visit the official athletics website www.cuacardinals.com