MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 13, 2014) – The West Virginia University men’s soccer team was recognized by its Mid-American Conference peers today, as six student-athletes earned All-MAC Honors, while coach Marlon LeBlanc was named the Gary V. Palmisano Coach of the Year, senior Andy Bevin was named the MAC Player of the Year and freshman Joey Piatczyc was named the MAC Freshman of the Year.
“This is a team that only has three seniors and so many young players that have been recognized by the league,” LeBlanc said. “Without looking to far ahead, because we have a lot of soccer left to play in 2014, this program is set for a nice little run over the next few years. We want to encourage them to believe in the program and the commitment and what we have going on here.”
This is the second time LeBlanc was named the coach of the year, as he was recognized by the Big East in 2006. LeBlanc led the Mountaineers to an 11-6-1 regular season mark in 2014, including a five-game winning streak to finish the season.
“I have a great staff with Mike (Lapper), Scott (Bowers) and Tony (Higgins). We have great strength coaches, athletic trainers and all of those people who play a big role in the success of our team,” LeBlanc said. “Coaches are only as good as their players and because I have good players, I’m very appreciative the MAC coaches would recognize myself and the staff.”
Bevin earns a major conference award for the second time in his career, as he was named the 2011 Big East Rookie of the Year. Bevin leads the Mountaineers in goals (12), assists (8) and points (32). He also finished the regular season with the conference lead in points.
“It’s something that I’ve been chasing. To finish off better than I started is a nice feeling,” Bevin said.”
For his career at WVU, he is ranked No. 3 in assists (19), No. 5 in points (79) and No. 7 in goals (30). Among active career NCAA leaders, Bevin is No. 6 in points and goals, and No. 11 in assists.
“If we’re being honest, Andy is a big reason we’re at where we’re at this year,” LeBlanc said. “It’s a just award for a kid who has come in and done it all. I’ve sang his praises over the last few years of what he is capable of and how important he is to this team.”
Piatczyc finished the regular season with seven assists, the most ever for a Mountaineer freshman, in 16 games played. Piatczyc joins Bevin as the only other player in school history to earn a rookie/freshman major award.
“It’s a great honor, I’m really happy about it,” Piatczyc said. “A lot of it has come from the team, obviously I can’t do anything without them. I’m really happy to receive this award.”
“Joey has been able to contribute in a number of different ways in our midfield,” LeBlanc said. “With any young player there is always a transition period and a fatigue period towards the end. We’ve been able to put Joey in a situation where he can be comfortable and be successful.”
Two Mountaineers landed on the All-MAC First Team: Bevin and midfielder Jamie Merriam. It is Merriam’s first career all-conference honor. He finished second on the team with eight goals and 21 points, while also adding five assists.
Piatczyc, junior forward Ryan Cain, sophomore defender Jack Elliott and senior goalkeeper Lee Johnston were named to the All-MAC Second Team.
Cain was fourth on the team with four goals and three assists for 11 points. Elliott scored one goal and added two assists, while holding opponents to 4.3 shots on goal per game and helping WVU to six shutouts. Johnston played in 11 games, going 6-3-1 with a 1.21 goals-against average and four shutouts.
A full listing of All-MAC recipients can be found on MAC-Sports.com.