Nov. 5, 2011
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. - Siena Men's Soccer had three honorees apiece to the All-MAAC Second and Rookie Teams as unveiled this evening here at the conference's awards banquet inside Disney World's Animal Kingdom at the Flights of Wonder Theatre. Jack Binks, Sindre Ek and Jannis Opalka each were named to the Second Team, while Binks, Falko Friedrichs and Nathan Olukanmi earned All-Rookie Team honors.
Niagara's Carl Haworth was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year, while the conference's other three major awards were each bestowed upon members from the regular season champion Fairfield. The Stags' Michael O'Keeffe was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, while teammate Jordan Ayris was named the Rookie of the Year and Carl Rees was selected as the Coach of the Year.
A freshman from Darlington, England, Binks recently completed arguably the greatest season by any keeper in program history. He played every minute in goal for the Saints, posting five shutouts while saving 51 shots for a .750 save percentage. Most impressively perhaps was his miniscule 0.89 goals against average which was a program single-season record.
A junior from Oslo, Norway, Ek played in 16 games making 14 starts this fall. He tallied three points and scored the game-winning golden goal in the Saints 2-1 overtime win over Big East foe Syracuse.
Opalka anchored the center back which allowed just 0.94 goals per game. A junior from Stade, Germany, Opalka started all 17 games he played and dished out to assists.
Siena led all MAAC schools with their three All-Rookie Team selections.
Friedrichs combined with Opalka to play a solid center back this season. A native of Cologne, Germany, he played in 13 games making 10 starts.
Olukanmi dazzled throughout his freshman year with his speed playing both midfield and forward. A native of Milton Keynes, England, he scored three goals and finished with six points.
The Saints also excelled in the classroom once again and placed seven student athletes on the MAAC All-Academic Team. David Bonzerato was the senior honoree, while juniors Daniel Alderstad, Sean Sullivan and Opalka and sophomores James Beeston, Matt Hemsley and Adam Myers were also recognized.
To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
The Saints finished the 2011 season yesterday with a 5-9-4 overall record including a 1-5-3 mark in the MAAC. But Siena concluded the campaign strong, trouncing defending MAAC Champion Saint Peter's in the First Round of the conference tournament before narrowly falling to 24th ranked Iona in penalty kicks yesterday.
The future is bright as Siena is expected to return all six All-MAAC honorees next fall.