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2019 Men's ASUNSoccer Season In Review

January 16, 2020  Atlanta, Ga.  RSS
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2019 Men's ASUNSoccer Season In Review
Note: The Liberty men's soccer team saw senior midfielder Ruben Garcia selected to the 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-America team and qualify for the ASUN Tournament in its first season under head coach Kelly Findley. The ASUN Conference office recently penned this season recap article.
 
With the 2019 ASUN Conference Men's Soccer season in the books, we take a look back at the highlights and accomplishments from the nine league squads following the campaign. The year was highlighted by NJIT capturing its first-ever ASUN Championship title behind a 2-1 come-from-behind win over FGCU. The Highlanders also staked claim to four of the five individual superlative awards after winning the regular-season title.
 
Trailing 1-0 in the second half, NJIT got a pair of goals in the final 21 minutes to secure its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. Just days prior, the top-seeded Highlanders recorded their first ASUN Championship victory in the semifinals with a one-goal win over No. 4 Stetson. Junior forward Regsan Watkins was named Tournament MVP after netting both tournament game-winners for NJIT.
 
A quartet of Highlanders earned postseason individual honors led by Player of the Year Rene White. White led the ASUN and ranked fourth nationally with 17 goals and also led the conference with 36 points while coming in third with 49 shots. Samuel Reisgys earned the Goalkeeper of the Year award after recording an 8-3-4 record with three solo shutouts during his freshman season and leading the league with 77 saves. Alejandro Rabell (Freshman of the Year) and Fernando Barboto (Coach of the Year) rounded out the NJIT superlative recipients.
 
Stetson's Ian McCauley took home Defensive Player of the Year honors after anchoring the Hatters defensive backline that registered a 1.51 GAA, third-best in the conference. He also added a goal and two assists on the year.
 
Other highlights from the 2019 season included the NJIT coaching staff being named the United Soccer Coaches Atlantic Region Staff of the Year while six ASUN players were named All-Atlantic Region Team selections -- White (1st Team), McCauley (2nd Team) and Third Team honorees Shak Adams (FGCU), O'Vonte Mullings (FGCU), Ben Locke (Lipscomb) and Andrew Nino (NJIT). Additionally, Liberty's Ruben Garcia was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America while White earned Scholar All-America Team honors from the United Soccer Coaches. Most recently, Adams became the sixth ASUN student-athlete in the last three years selected in the MLS SuperDraft after he was picked 54th overall by Nashville SC.
 

FGCU
- Forward Shak Adams was selected 54th overall by Nashville SC in the MLS SuperDraft; an All-Conference First Team selection, he had four goals and a team-high five assists.
- O'Vonte Mullings was second in the ASUN in both goals scored (9) and points (20) following the 2019 campaign.
- FGCU peaked at No. 12 in the national rankings and faced a league-best six nationally-ranked squads this season (2-3-1).

Jacksonville
- Connar Lufkin represented Jacksonville on the ASUN All-Conference Second Team following his team-leading four goals and nine points on the year.
- The Dolphins' Mason Tunbridge earned All-Freshmen Team honors after recording a pair of goals and assists in 2019 for six points.
- JAX had a 5-2-1 non-conference record with big wins over South Carolina and Georgia Southern highlighting its slate.

Liberty
- Senior midfielder Ruben Garcia was selected as the ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year while also earning CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team accolades.
- Goalkeeper Brogan Engbers led the conference in save percentage (.786)in 2019 while being second in goals against (9) and fourth in GAA (1.40).
- The Flames played in a league-low one overtime game in 2019 which came in its final contest of the season, a 3-2 OT loss to North Florida in the ASUN Championship First Round.

Lipscomb
- The Bisons placed two players on the ASUN All-Conference First Team in Noah Gulden and Ben Locke as both recorded two goals on the year.
- Lipscomb dropped a heart-breaking loss to Stetson in the ASUN Championship First Round which snapped a Bisons unbeaten streak of five consecutive tournament matches.
- For the first time in program history, Lipscomb entered the season receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll.

NJIT
- Junior forward Rene White finished fourth in the nation for goals scored (17) and holds NJIT's Division I career goals (34) and points (74) records.
- The Highlander coaching staff was named the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Atlantic Region Staff of the Year.
- NJIT's 10 wins tied a program record; White was named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America Team.

North Florida
- The Ospreys had the best defense in the league allowing just 15 regular-season goals and a 1.15 GAA average which were both tops in the program's Division I era.
- North Florida went unbeaten in its four overtime contests this season (2-0-2) which is tied for the most in program history.
- Goalkeeper Patraic Gilley finished the season second in the ASUN for GAA (1.09) and third in goals-against allowing 14 on the year.

Stetson
- Ian McCauley won ASUN Defensive Player of the Year after anchoring Stetson's defense with a 1.45 GAA; the senior was also named to the USC All-Atlantic Region Second Team.
- Sebastian Chalbaud joined McCauley on the All-Conference First Team after scoring three goals and accumulating seven points; the sophomore also earned All-Tournament distinction.
- The Hatters have played in the ASUN Championship Semifinal Round the last three seasons and have a combined 2-2-1 record in the last two tournaments.


ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.