KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Saginaw Valley State University men's soccer team placed two athletes on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division II All-American Team for the first time in school history. Senior forward Zach Myers (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern HS) was named to the first team, while senior goalkeeper Jason Wise (Troy, Mich.) was selected to the third team today (Dec. 4).
"Jason and Zach have come such a long way in the last few years, I could not be more happy for them. Both players are extremely selfless and more worried about how to help the team win games as opposed to individual recognition and that is what is special about their character," commented Head Coach Cale Wassermann.
Myers, a senior captain, becomes the first men's soccer player to receive First Team All-American honors in school history. He started all 25 matches this season for the SVSU men's soccer program and posted a team and GLIAC best 17 goals with two assists after switching positions from defense to forward this season. Myers has scored two or more goals in five matches this season and became the first men's soccer player in GLIAC history to win both 'Offensive Player of the Year' and 'Defensive Player of the Year' honors in their career. Myers was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America team earlier this season.
Wise, a senior goalkeeper, becomes just the second men's soccer player in school history to be named an All-American. He started all 25 contests in net this season for the Cardinals and set a school record with 18 wins. He allowed just 21 goals this season and recorded 13 shutouts. Wise also ranked 21st in the nation with a 0.809 goals against average in 2012.
"For Zach to move from Central Defender last year (GLIAC DPOY) and end up becoming a First-Team All-America Forward is something that can only happen to a special kid, he worked hard to rehab from a broken leg this spring as well, he deserves it and he will be missed as our Captain on and off the field. As for Jason, we would not be where we are today if it weren't for him, he has been huge all year and made some incredible game saving stops in our run to the National Championship game, he was our rock back there," added Wassermann. "We have one or two other kids that really could have been on this list but there is only so many players that get chosen from all over the country, we are hoping a few more get recognized when the All-Region teams come out in a couple of weeks. As a program this shows that we are becoming a nationally recognized team and it is special for the University and the players especially, I am proud of them."
The No. 12 Cardinals ran their unbeaten streak to 14 games before falling to No. 11 Lynn University, 3-2, in the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer National Championship game on December 1st. SVSU ended the season with a school record 18 wins and played in the University's first NCAA National Championship game.
Founded in 1941 and based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate coaches, encourage excellence and serve the soccer community.
The NSCAA is the world's largest soccer coaches' organization with members at every level of the game. The membership is primarily made up of coaches, but also includes administrators, referees and others in the soccer industry. The NSCAA provides its members ways to enhance the game of soccer by providing a national education program, interaction and networking opportunities, and membership benefits.
For more information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit NSCAA.com.