Links: NE-10 Release
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The 19th-ranked Merrimack College men's soccer team saw six student-athletes earn Northeast-10 All-Conference recognition on Thursday afternoon, as announced by the league office, headlined by sophomore first-teamer Lars Sund (Stavanger, Norway).
Joining Sund as all-league performers included seniors Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England) and Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) as well as redshirt-junior Josue Ruiz Maya (Madero, Mexico) on the second team. Junior Juan Meza (Cali, Colombia) and senior Oscar Zepeda Cagide (Jalisco, Mexcio) rounded on the group on the third team. Thursday marked the third straight year that Merrimack has had exactly six all-conference performers.
Sund followed up his all-rookie campaign as a freshman with a stellar sophomore season. The attacking midfielder set career highs in every offensive statistic, including goals (4), assists (8) and points (16). He currently ranks tied for third in the conference in helpers, the majority of which have come on set pieces. The 17-game starter was named NE-10 Player of the Week earlier this season following his five-point performance against Southern Connecticut.
Briers' all-conference nod marks the third of his career, despite missing six games this season due to injury. The first-team honoree last year, Briers has totaled five points through 12 appearances as Merrimack's starting center back. He has scored in consecutive games entering Friday's semifinal against Le Moyne.
Cortes Torres landed on the all-league second team for the second straight year following a superb season as Merrimack's striker. The third-year Warrior leads Merrimack with six goals to go along with two assists for 14 points, trailing only Sund for the team lead. He accumulated 55 shots on the year, the third most in the league.
Ruiz Maya returned from injury this season to start in all 18 games to date as Merrimack's center back. His career season includes three goals, one assist and seven points after beginning the season with only one point in 25 appearances. The international defender anchored a Merrimack defense that has allowed just 0.87 goals-per-game.
Meza made it three all-conference nods in three seasons on Thursday, after an all-rookie debut campaign followed by a second-team selection as a sophomore. The Colombian native tied his career high with eight points over 18 appearances, tying his total from his freshman year with three goals.
Zepeda Cagide ended his regular season playing some of the best soccer of his career, earning a nod on the all-league third team. One of Merrimack's three captains and vocal leader on the field, the fourth-year player tied his career high with three goals on the season. He scored in back-to-back games against Southern New Hampshire and Saint Anselm while striking 13 shots over the last four contests.
Merrimack returns to Martone-Mejail Field tomorrow night when the Warriors host Le Moyne in the NE-10 Semifinals. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.