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2017 MAC Men's Soccer Postseason Awards Announced

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference announced the 2017 Men's Soccer postseason awards Thursday. The league’s six head coaches selected the All-MAC First and Second Team, Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and the Gary V. Palmisano Coach of the Year. Due to ties, the 2017 All-MAC First Team is comprised of 12 players instead of 11.

Western Michigan senior forward Brandon Bye was named the 2017 Mid-American Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Year. Bye, who played in 17 games for WMU this season, led the MAC in points (29), goals (12), and shots (77), as well as finishing tied for 4th in the MAC in assists (5).
Bye is joined on the All-MAC first team by teammates Jay McIntosh, Tommy Clark, Zach Bock and Drew Shepherd. McIntosh and Clark combined with Bye to lead the Western Michigan attack this season, both finishing the season tied for first in the conference in assists (8). Goalkeeper Drew Shepherd led the MAC in shutouts this season with 11, and did not allow a goal in five conference games.

Western Michigan head coach Chad Wiseman was named the 2017 Gary V. Palmisano Coach of the Year. The Broncos come into the MAC Championship as the number one seed, after clinching the MAC regular season title for the first time in school history. WMU finished with a school record 15 wins this season and went 5-0 in conference play. The Broncos are currently ranked fourth in the nation by the NCAA, marking the highest men’s soccer ranking in program history.
Akron freshman Joao Moutinho was selected by the coaches as the 2017 Freshman of the Year. Moutinho played in all 18 games for the Zips, and totaled three goals, as well as a team-high 5 assists this season. Akron finished the season 14-3-1 and enter the MAC Championship as the second seed.
Moutinho was joined on the First Team by teammates Stuart Holthusen, Sam Gainford, Nick Hinds, and Manuel Cordeiro. Despite playing in only 12 games this season, Gainford finished tied for third in the MAC with six goals, and landed fourth in the conference in total points (16). Fellow forward Stuart Holthusen finished the season in dramatic fashion scoring six goals in the final 2 weeks, ranking him second in the league in goals (8) and points (19). 

West Virginia’s Jad Arslan, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville senior Devyn Jambga round out the All-MAC First Team. Arslan played in all 18 games for the Mountaineers this season, scoring four goals, including three game-winners, and an assist. Jambga started in 13 games for the Cougars this season, tallying 3 goals, 1 assist, and 2 game-winners.

The 2017 All-MAC Second Team was headlined by WMU juniors Kosti Moni, Ben Thorton and Jake Rufe. Akron also landed three names on the team, as the Zips are represented by Pau Belana, Nate Shultz, and Niko De Vera. Bowling Green standouts Alexis Souahy and Chris Brennan each held up a spot in the second team, while SIUE’s Jorge Gonzalez and Johan DePicker, and WVU’s Steven James earned their place respectively.

The 2017 Mid-American Conference Men's Soccer Championship will begin Friday at Western Michigan University. No. 2 Akron will face No. 3 SIUE in the first semifinals match, beginning at 11:00 a.m. EST. Top-seeded Western Michigan will take on No. 4 West Virginia at 2:00 p.m. EST. The winners of the two semifinal games will meet in the championship match on Sunday, November 12 at 1:00 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. For more about the 2017 MAC Men's Soccer Championship, click here.

2017 MAC Player of the Year:
Brandon Bye, Forward, Western Michigan

2017 MAC Freshman of the Year:
Joao Moutinho, Defender, Akron

Gary V. Palmisano Coach of the Year:
Chad Wiseman, Western Michigan
First Team All-MAC:
Stuart Holthusen, Forward, Akron
Sam Gainford, Forward, Akron
Joao Moutinho, Defender, Akron
Nick Hinds, Midfielder, Akron
Manuel Cordeiro, Midfielder, Akron
Devyn Jambga, Forward, SIUE
Jay McIntosh, Forward, Western Michigan
Tommy Clark, Midfielder, Western Michigan
Zach Bock, Defender, Western Michigan
Brandon Bye, Forward, Western Michigan
Drew Shepherd, Goalkeeper, Western Michigan
Jad Arslan, Midfielder, West Virginia

Second Team All-MAC:
Nate Shultz, Defender, Akron
Niko De Vera, Defender, Akron
Pau Belana, Midfielder, Akron
Alexis Souahy, Defender, Bowling Green
Chris Brennan, Forward, Bowling Green
Johan DePicker, Defender, SIUE
Jorge Gonzalez, Midfielder, SIUE
Kosti Moni, Midfielder, Western Michigan
Jake Rufe, Midfielder, Western Michigan
Ben Thornton, Defender, Western Michigan
Steven James, Defender, West Virginia