SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Spring Arbor University junior Morris Kamara has been named the Crossroads League Player of the Year and sophomore Alex Sokalski was selected Defensive Player of the Year as the Spring Arbor University men's soccer team pulled in five year-end honors with four First Team selections and one Second Team.
Kamara picked up his third straight piece of All-League hardware following a spot on the First Team as a sophomore and Second Team as a freshman. The junior forward enjoyed a career-year as he helped Spring Arbor post a program record 58 goals this season. His led the conference in, both, goals (17) and points (38). His 17 goals also ranked 15th in the NAIA.
Through his first three seasons, Kamara has racked up 37 goals and 12 assists.
"Mo had a monster year, and his accumulated hard work makes this award so deserving for him," said head coach Nathan Miller. "I'm not sure I will have the privilege of coaching a harder working and more committed player. He was targeted all year and was still able to be extremely productive. He is such an unselfish player who leads the line so well. The amazing thing is that he still hasn't reached his peak potential. When your hardest working player is your striker, that is no doubt a platform for success."
Sokalski secured his second consecutive All-League selection after garnering Second Team honors as a freshman. The 6-foot-3 defender was the backbone of the defense helping the Cougars post nine shutouts in 2017, which tied for the most in the Crossroads League.
The Dorchester, Ontario native also came up big for the Cougars on the other end of the field, scoring four goals this season – all game-winners.
"Alex improved so much from his freshman year and really took his game to a new level," commented Miller. "His ability to build our attacks from the back was really important to our team. He is very intelligent, technical, and came up with three game-winning goals in league play. In the air, he's a beast, and with our defensive record this year, he is very deserving. Certainly Hunter Gibbons and Tyler Green will share in his success as well as the whole squad whose pressing makes up a lot of our defending. He also has new levels to reach, which I know he is motivated to get to."
Jones closed out his career earning a First Team selection. The Liverpool, England native has had an enormous impact in the midfield for the Cougars in his two seasons. After posting eight goals and eight assists last year, Jones topped both of those marks with nine goals and nine assists in 2017. His nine assists ranked second in the league.
In his first season starting between the pipes, Handspike boasted a 16-4-1 record while registering eight shutouts. The DeWitt, Michigan native made 81 saves in nearly 1900 minutes of action and owned a 1.05 goals against average.
Crull garnered the first All-League honor of his career after an impressive sophomore campaign. The dynamic winger led the conference with 12 assists, which also ranked as the eighth most in the country. Through two seasons, Crull has dished out 22 helpers.
In addition to the five players selected, SAU skipper Nathan Miller was recognized by his peers as the Crossroads League Coach of the Year. The fifth-year coach guided the Cougars to their first-ever Crossroads League regular season title and 16 wins – the second-most wins in a single-season over the 35 years. His team also led the league in scoring with a school record 58 goals, averaging 2.8 per match.
Spring Arbor finished the season with a 16-4-1 record and ranked No. 21 in the final regular season NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll.