COLUMBIA, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande was the big winner at Tuesday night’s Mid-South Conference men’s soccer all-conference awards banquet hosted on the Lindsey Wilson College campus.
Senior forward Richard Isberner earned his second straight Mid-South Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Year honor.
The Sao Paulo, Brazil native leads the MSC in points, goals and is tied for second in assists this season. Entering Wednesday’s semifinal match, Isberner has 20 goals and nine assists for 49 points.
Nationally, Isberner ranks sixth in the NAIA in goals and points. His four game-winning goals are tied for 19th in the NAIA. Isberner earned MSC Offensive Player of the Week twice during the 2012 season.
Ryota Tonegawa (Kawaguchi, Saitawa, Japan) grabbed MSC Freshman of the Year honors. Tonegawa was pivotal in the RedStorm midfield this season while totaling three assists.
Rio Grande head coach Scott Morrissey earned MSC Coach of the Year kudos after leading the RedStorm to a 9-0 conference mark.
Nine Rio players also earned All-MSC selections, including eight first team honorees. Along with Isberner, Rio was represented on the first team by defenders Mike Burney (Annandale, VA), Craig Davies (Birmingham, England) and Brodie Steigerwald (Aurora, IN); midfielders Oliver Hewitt-Fisher (Swansea, Wales), Maxi Viera (Montevideo, Uruguay) and Caio Cruz (Sao Paulo, Brazil); and goalkeeper Jack Marchant (Leeds, England).
Forward Rafael Maccauro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was among those named to the Honorable Mention list.
Joining the eight Rio Grande players on the first team were defenders Sicelo Buthelezi of Lindsey Wilson and John Kennedy of Campbellsville; forwards Eddy Campbell and Philip Sandgren of Lindsey Wilson, Roraigh Yearwood of Campbellsville and Harry Mason of Cumberland University; midfielders Lebogang Moloto and Yazeed Davids of Lindsey Wilson; and Lindsey Wilson goalkeeper Yuta Nomura.
Shawnee State University’s Jacob Hackworth was selected at the Mid-South Conference Men’s Soccer Champions of Character recipient. Hackworth earned the award based on his academic and athletic achievement, campus and community leadership, future ambition and demonstration of five core character values of the NAIA
A total of 17 men earned All MSC First Team while 17 others were named all-conference honorable mention as voted on by the conference coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
The Mid-South Conference Tournament continues on Wednesday with semifinal action beginning at 6 p.m. EST as top-seeded Rio Grande faces No. 4 University of the Cumberlands at Walter S. Reuling Stadium on the Lindsey Wilson campus. No. 2 seed Lindsey Wilson and sixth-seeded Cumberland University play in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m. EST.
The tournament finals are scheduled for Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST.