Two members of Concordia’s men’s soccer team received first team all-conference honors for the 2016 season. Photo by Natasha Torno.
by Jordan McCoy
A total of 16 Concordia Bulldog soccer players were recognized on all-conference teams or received honorable mentions by the GPAC on Nov. 14.
Junior forward Marcelo Hernandez and junior defender Florian Caraballo received first team all-conference honors.
Hernandez comes from Quito, Ecuador. He transferred from Evergreen Valley College in California where he won several awards including MVP both years he attended. Hernandez scored seven goals and had one assist during the 2016 season.
Caraballo is from Cordoba, Spain. He transferred colleges twice before deciding to attend Concordia. He also played his freshman year at Evergreen Valley College and his sophomore year at Marshalltown Community College. Caraballo was a key component in the Bulldogs’ defensive line as an outside defender.
Junior forward Micah Lehenbauer received a second team all-conference honor. Lehenbauer is originally from Kathleen, Georgia. He led the Bulldogs in goals with eight in the season, and was one of two captains.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team and how we performed this season after losing so many guys from last year,” Lehenbauer said. “Obviously it’s disappointing to not win GPAC or make nationals, but I think we have an opportunity to take a big step forward next season. After falling just short this season we’re hungrier than ever to win the GPAC title and make a run at nationals.”
Five more of the men’s team received honorable mentions: senior goalkeeper and captain Mark Horsburgh, junior midfielders Toby Down and Lewis Rathbone, sophomore defender Aries Fung and freshman forward Carlos Ferrer.
Two players were given first team all-conference honors: sophomore midfielder and team captain Maria Deeter and freshman midfielder Sami Birmingham.
Deeter, a native of Seward, was one of three captains for the women’s team. Deeter scored seven goals and had five assists during the 2016 season.
“My sophomore season flew by,” Deeter said. “It was a season to remember not only because of the success we had but all the memories we made together. It was very rewarding because all of our hard work paid off at the end.”
Birmingham is from Johnston, Iowa. Birmingham was the leading scorer in her season debut for the Bulldogs with 20 goals and 10 assists. She also led the team with 67 shots in the 2016 season.
The second team all-conference recipients were senior goalkeeper Chrissy Lind of Colorado Springs, Colorado; junior defender Jeannelle Condame of Winter Springs, Florida; sophomore defender Ashley Martin of Longmont, Colorado; and freshman forward Rachael Bolin of Arvada, Colorado.
Lind recorded 345 career saves and broken many defensive records. Condame scored two goals and five assists, and Bolin recorded ten goals and ten assists in her first season as a Bulldog.
Junior forwards Jessica Skerston and Esther Soenksen were both named honorable mention for the Bulldogs. Skerston scored 11 goals and Soenksen scored eight.