Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After clinching the regular season championship and the number one seed going into the postseason, two Wilmington University men's soccer student-athletes were named Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Players of the Year, along with three being named First-Team All-CACC, while head coach Nick Papanicolas was named CACC Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league's head coaches.
In his 15th season, and for the fourth time in his career, Nick Papanicolas was named CACC Coach of the Year. Senior Vinny Tasca was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the first time in his career, earning All-CACC for the second time overall. Junior defender Elliot Johnson was named CACC Defensive Player of the Year, while earning All-CACC for the second year in a row. Senior forward Will Stone was named First-Team All-CACC, for the first time as a Wildcat, along with junior forward Tom Garratt, who earned it for the first time in his career. Senior defender Daniel Loyo was named Second-Team All-CACC for his work on defense.
Altogether, the men led the Wildcats to a 12-1-4 overall regular season record, to earn the regular season championship and number one seed going into the playoffs. They will have home field advantage, as they will take on eighth seeded Chestnut Hill Tuesday in the first round of the CACC Tournament.
Tasca earned All-CACC Second Team and United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Second Team his junior year as a goalie, before earning Goalkeeper of the Year for being name the First Team All-CACC netminder his senior season. He has completed six shutouts in goal for the Wildcats, while also leading the CACC with a 0.84 goals against average on the year. He had a season's best six saves in the net against Jefferson.
Johnson also earned Second-Team All-CACC last season, before earning First Team All-CACC and Defensive Player of the Year this year. He has been big on the back line for the Wildcats, making defensive saves throughout the year. He had one assist this season against Felician, helping them to a 6-1 win over the Golden-Falcons.
Stone has been an offensive threat for the Wildcats this season, leading the team with 11 goals and 13 assists (35 points). He recorded his first hat trick as a Wildcat against Goldey-Beacom, scoring three goals and dishing out two assists, while tying the program record with eight points in a single game. He is fourth in the CACC with 11 goals, second in the CACC with 13 assists, second in the league with 35 points, and tied for fourth in the conference with 54 shots.
Garratt has also been an offensive force for the Wildcats this season. He is second on the team with 10 goals and 11 assists (31 points). He recorded his first career hat trick against Nyack, scoring three goals, going 2-2 in penalty kicks. He is fifth in the CACC with 10 goals, third in the conference with 11 assists, tied for third in total points with 31, and sixth in the CACC with 47 shots.
Loyo earns All-CACC for the first time in his career as a defender. He has helped the back-line for the Wildcats this season to a 0.83 goals against average as a team. He has also been an attacking threat, scoring the first goal of the game against Holy Family to help the Wildcats defeat the Tigers, 2-1, this season.
Nick Papanicolas was named the 2006, 2009, and 2015 Coach of the Year, before earning the fourth of his career this year. The Wildcats are 12-1-4 overall this season, and ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II East Region heading into the postseason.
Post University's Sergio Diaz was named CACC Player of the Year, while Concordia's Marlon Buck earned CACC Rookie of the Year.
2018 CACC All-Conference Teams:
F - Marlon Buck (Concordia College)
F - Tom Garratt (Wilmington University)
F - Alvaro Sanchez (Post University)
M - Sergio Diaz (Post University)
M - Jason Rocha (Jefferson)
M - Will Stone (Wilmington University)
D - Joaquin Escudero (Caldwell University)
D - Jonathan Firmino (Georgian Court University)
D - Elliott Johnson (Wilmington University)
D - Matteo Moro (Post University)
GK - Vinny Tasca (Wilmington University)
F - Kenny Monfort (Felician University)
F - Joel Quist (Georgian Court University)
F - Regsan Watkins (Bloomfield College)
M - Sean McCormick (Holy Family University)
M - Maxi Ojeda (Felician University)
M - Louis Silva (Georgian Court University)
D - Andrea Baleotto (Post University)
D - Niklas Laenger (Georgian Court University)
D - Daniel Loyo (Wilmington University)
GK - Jaime Gonzalez (Concordia College)
GK - Nils Svere (Caldwell University)
2018 CACC Player of the Year: Sergio Diaz (Post University)
2018 CACC Rookie of the Year: Marlon Buck (Concordia College)
2018 CACC Defensive Player of the Year: Elliott Johnson (Wilmington University)
2018 CACC Goalkeeper of the Year: Vinny Tasca (Wilmington University)
2018 CACC Coach of the Year: Nick Papanicolas (Wilmington University)
2018 CACC Team Sportsmanship Award: Nyack College