(FREDERICTON, N.B.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2016 men's soccer all-stars and major award winners as selected by the conference's 10 head coaches following regular season play.
Fifth-year Acadia Axemen defender Andrew Snyder of Bridgewater, N.S. was named the AUS most valuable player at Thursday's championship luncheon hosted at the Fredericton Inn by the University of New Brunswick.
Other AUS major award winners announced were UNB's Evan Barker of Winnipeg, Man., who was named rookie of the year; Dalhousie's Jonathan Doucett of Dartmouth, N.S., who received the student-athlete community service award; and Acadia head coach Findlay MacRae who took home the AUS coach of the year award for the second consecutive year.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Andrew Snyder, Acadia University
Andrew Snyder, a fifth-year defender with the U Sports No. 6-ranked Acadia Axemen, has been named the Atlantic University Sport men's soccer most valuable player.
The Bridgewater, N.S. native anchored the Axemen defence and led them to a 9-1-2 regular season record, a first-place finish in the AUS standings and a first-round playoffs bye through to Friday's championship semifinals.
Snyder's Acadia squad allowed just four goals against all season for a goals against average of 0.33 per game. The team tied for first in shutouts with nine in 12 games.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Snyder scored three goals and added three assists this season for six points.
Along with being named AUS MVP, he was named an AUS first team all-star for the third consecutive year. Snyder was also named a CIS first team all-Canadian last season.
His past accolades also include being named an AUS second team all-star in 2013 and 2012 as well as being named the AUS rookie of the year in 2012.
"Andrew is an outstanding centre back in terms of defending ability, athleticism and attitude," said Axemen head coach Findlay MacRae. "He is dominant in the air and on the ground, physically strong and very fast, and technically strong on the ball. This season he has been an excellent anchor in defence and always a threat at set plays in the opponent's box. In addition, Andrew is also an outstanding person who demonstrates leadership by action, and conducts himself with integrity on and off the field."
This is just the second time a player from an Acadia squad has been honoured with the AUS most valuable player award. Former Axemen standout Brian Duguay is the only other Acadia player to earn the honour. He won it in 1990.
Snyder will now represent the Atlantic conference as the league's nominee for the Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy as the U Sports (formerly CIS) player of the year.
He joined the ranks of Cape Breton's Justin Maheu (2014), UPEI's Ryan Anstey (2005) and Glen Miller (1998), SMU's Mesut Mert (2003 and 2001) and Dalhousie's Paul English (1996) – the other Atlantic University Sport players to win the national award.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Evan Barker, University of New Brunswick
UNB Varsity Reds keeper Evan Barker has been chosen by the coaches as the 2016 Atlantic University Sport rookie of the year.
A business student from Winnipeg, Man., Barker played in all 90 minutes of all 12 regular season games for the Varsity Reds.
He led all AUS keepers in wins with six on the season (with a 6-1-5 record) and allowed just three goals against. With 40 saves, he recorded a save percentage of .930.
Barker led the Atlantic conference in shutouts with nine on the season.
"Although Evan is a rookie, he is already a complete keeper," said Varsity Reds head coach Miles Pinsent. "His combination of quickness, size, and technical ability make him tough to beat. He pushes hard every day to get better when training with our keeper coach, George Lucas."
Barker becomes the fourth player from a Varsity Reds squad to be named AUS rookie of the year. Current teammate and 2016 AUS first team all-star Diego Padilha earned the honour most recently for UNB in his inaugural season in 2013. Former Varsity Reds standouts Eric Cormier and John Fish won the award in 2005 and 2004, respectively.
Barker now becomes the AUS nominee for the Lou Bilek Award for U Sports rookie of the year.
UNB's John Fish was the last AUS men's soccer player to earn national rookie of the year honours. He took home the award in 2004. Dalhousie's Simon Richardson is the only other Atlantic University Sport player to be named CIS (now U Sports) rookie of the year. He earned the title in 2001.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Jonathan Doucett, Dalhousie
Jonathan Doucett, a fourth-year defender with the Dalhousie Tigers, is the 2016 AUS student-athlete community service award recipient.
A nuclear medicine student from Dartmouth, N.S. Doucett played in all 12 regular season games for the Tigers this season while also maintaining a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. He has achieved academic all-Canadian status in each of his first three seasons with the Tigers and is on pace to do so again this season.
He is also heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with an array of initiatives. As a student with Dalhousie's School of Health Sciences, Doucett has logged over 1,600 hours of unpaid clinical experience at various hospitals around Nova Scotia.
Doucett is a volunteer with the 'Time Lasts Forever' project, which studies formerly incarcerated males who suffer from mental health issues and develops methods to help with successful reintegration into the community.
He is a volunteer with Dalhousie's Special Tigers program, the Free the Children Campaign and the White Ribbon Campaign which encourages dialogue about violence against women.
Doucett has also been a member of the Varsity Council for the past two years.
"Jonny Doucett is a great example of what a U Sports student-athlete is all about—excelling in the classroom, on the field and a difference maker in the community," said Tigers head coach Pat Nearing. "He not only dedicates hours to his studies and sports but puts his community high on his priority list with his volunteerism. A shining example to his teammates and classmates, Jonny is a real positive difference maker on our campus and in the community!"
Doucett becomes the fourth player from the Dalhousie Tigers to receive the men's soccer student-athlete community service award, and the third in four seasons. He will now represent the Atlantic conference as the nominee for the national student-athlete community service award.
Since the inception of the national award in 2005, AUS student-athletes have claimed the honour eight times (in 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2006). Dalhousie's Sangmuk Choi was last year's winner and Nathan Rogers received the CIS honour for the Tigers in 2013.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Findlay MacRae, Acadia
Head coach Findlay MacRae of the Acadia Axemen has been selected by his peers as the 2016 AUS men's soccer coach of the year for the second consecutive year.
Earning the award in his tenth season at the helm of the Axemen program, MacRae led his squad to a 9-1-2 regular season record, a first-place finish in the AUS standings and a first-round playoffs bye through to Friday's championship semifinals.
MacRae's Acadia squad allowed just four goals against all season for a goals against average of 0.33 per game. The team tied for first in shutouts with nine in 12 games.
This is the fourth consecutive year MacRae has led the Axemen squad to the postseason.
Over the last nine years, MacRae has been involved in the local soccer community serving most recently as the head coach of the Valley United Premiere Men's team.
His Canadian soccer roots began in Truro as a player with the Nova Scotia Agriculture College soccer club. He then moved his soccer interests towards coaching, acting as a co-coach with the NSAC squad in 1985-86 following his four years as player.
Findlay has completed the Canadian Soccer Association's 'B' Licence Program's provincial course. He currently works on the Acadia campus as the director of the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship.
"For a couple of reasons, I couldn't be more pleased this is being awarded to Findlay," said Acadia director of athletics Kevin Dickie. "I can't say enough about him as an asset to our campus, a mentor to young men, a tremendous family person, and as a friend. He's been the foundation of our men's soccer program since its re-inception a few years ago, and the players have taken on his personality of class and professionalism. As an athletic director, I really appreciate Findlay MacRae's extra effort and all he's done for Acadia, on and off the pitch."
MacRae now becomes the AUS nominee for the national coach of the year award. UNB's Miles Pinsent is the most recent coach from the Atlantic conference to earn the honour. He was named CIS coach of the year in 2012.
Other CIS wins by AUS coaches in recent years include StFX's Graham Kennedy in 2010 and Dalhousie's Pat Nearing in 2008.
FIRST AND SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS
The AUS first and second team all-stars were also announced Thursday. They are as follows:
First Team All-Stars:
Keeper - Evan Barker, UNB (1st year – Winnipeg, Man.)
Defender - Andrew Snyder, Acadia (5th year – Bridgewater, N.S.)
Defender - Daniel Pritchard, Cape Breton (3rd year – Nuneaton, United Kingdom)
Defender - Mark Ashlee, UPEI (5th year – Victoria, B.C.)
Defender - Alex Taylor, StFX (3rd year – Fall River, N.S.)
Midfield - Joel Eckert-Ayensa, Cape Breton (2nd year – Pulhaim, Germany)
Midfield - Ryan Parris, Acadia (3rd year – Hamilton, Bermuda)
Midfield - Freddy Bekkers, Dalhousie (2nd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Midfield - Cooper Coats, Acadia (3rd year – Halifax, N.S.)
Midfield - Diego Padilha, UNB (4th year – Maceió, Brazil)
Striker - Matthew Berrigan, Acadia (4th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Second Team All-Stars:
Keeper - Matthew Lannan, StFX (4th year – Port Williams, N.S.)
Defender - Pawel Gorski, Dalhousie (5th year – Halifax, N.S.)
Defender - George Lawton, UNB (5th year – Bolton, United Kingdom)
Defender - Peter Schaale, Cape Breton (1st year – Bernkastle-Kues, Germany)
Midfield - Jose Lopez, UNB (2nd year – Calgary, Alta.)
Midfield - Tane Caubo, StFX (1st year – London, England)
Midfield - Marcus Lees, UNB (4th year – Barrie, Ont.)
Midfield - Jordi Slaney, Memorial (4th year – St. Lawrence, N.L.)
Midfield - Marcus Campanile, Cape Breton (1st year – Edinburgh, Scotland)
Striker - Kallen Heenan, Dalhousie (3rd year – Dartmouth, N.S.)
Striker - Dan Hayfield, StFX (2nd year – Exeter, United Kingdom)
The 2016 Subway AUS Men's Soccer Championship will be hosted by the University of New Brunswick at the BMO Centre in Fredericton, N.B. Nov 3-6, 2016.
The championship schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 3
Quarterfinal #1: UPEI (6th) vs. StFX (3rd), 4:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal #2: Dalhousie (5th) vs. UNB (4th), 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4
Semifinal #1: Lowest Remaining Seed vs. Acadia (1st), 4:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2: Highest Remaining Seed vs. Cape Breton (2nd), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 6
Championship Game: Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner, 2 p.m.
*Note: All games of the championship will be broadcast live on Bell Aliant Fibe TV on channels 1 and 401, and available via webcast, live at www.AUStv.ca.
Final AUS men's soccer standings:
The Atlantic University Sport conference receives two berths at the 2016 national men's soccer championship being hosted by the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ont. Nov. 10-13.
The berths will go to the AUS championship winner and runner-up.
For more information on the national men's soccer championship, please visit the official website at: http://en.cis-sic.ca/championships/msoc/index.