Disappointing Season Lacked Big Plays, Not Effort and Dedication
Student-Athletes Recognized at Annual Soccer Banquet
December 14, 2010
(ABOVE) Special award winners were, from the left, Lynne Hansen, Henrik Hornnaess, Cayleb Paulino, T.J. Gruber, Zach Owlsley and Kevin Brown. (BELOW) Flanked by Bud Lewis on the left and Randy Sarvis on the right are seniors Chris Geeding, Emil Nordstrom, Cayleb Paulino, Anthony Montgomery, Drew Hansen, Zach Owsley, Alex Geier, Todd Woolum and Kevin Brown. (BOTTOM) The cake before it was devoured.
Head coach Bud Lewis praised his 2010 team for putting forth a great effort, but, in the final analysis, the results weren’t there for the level success in the season that everyone wanted.
“The difference between this team and some of my successful teams was two or three players. The core of our players in 2010 was as good as nearly any year I’ve had. We just didn’t have game-changers,” he said, noting he takes responsibility for not successfully recruiting that quality of player.
While WC’s 3-11-4 (1-7-1 OAC) campaign was disappointing, the good spirits exhibited at the annual soccer banquet Dec. 3 showed it’s obvious there’s much more involved with the opportunity to play collegiate soccer at Wilmington than simply victories.
Lewis said the team — and especially the nine seniors — lived up to the program’s virtues of humility, charity and courage.
“In reality, the wins and losses just blur,” he said. “As a coach, I’m grateful for these guys and their parents that did so much for our program. We can take from this season that sense of gratitude you have for each other — that feeling’s in our hearts.”
As is the custom, a spotlight was placed upon the seniors and their four years with the program.
“There’s not a senior that didn’t go all out and give every bit of effort,” Lewis said.
He recalled this group came to WC in fall 2007 after the program graduated “a big, talented” class in 2007 that played in three consecutive OAC Tournament championship games.
“You seniors were thrown to the fire your freshman year — you learned under fire,” he said.
Lewis recognized each individual player.
Kevin Brown’s “speed and tenacity” was what caught the coach’s eye when he was in high school and those attributes were complemented when Brown “found his touch” his senior year.
Chris Geeding was a “hard and determined worker” that “absolutely loves the game,” Lewis said, while Alex Geier was an “effective” defender that was an “incredibly responsible and committed teammate.”
Drew Hansen was “a very talented player” that “really developed” his game and Anthony Montgomery was “incredibly talented, with speed and quickness,” and “played well in whatever role he was given.”
Emil Nordstrom was cited for his “training mentality and persona” on the field. “He was our engine this year,” Lewis said. Zach Owsley, a “fierce competitor,” broke into the lineup late in his freshman year and started every game thereafter.
Cayleb Paulino has “success and integrity written on everything he does,” Lewis said. “He was our captain in name and in spirit. I was especially impressed with his ability to refocus and bring the team together.” Todd Woolum, a “gentle bear,” was a good, positive teammate, who “really developed his game and playing mentality.”
Nordstrom was a Second Team All-OAC selection while Owsley and freshman goalkeeper Antonio Trujillo received honorable mention. Paulino again was named Academic All-OAC. Lewis presented Captain’s Awards to Paulino, Woolum and Nordstrom, all of whom “personify leadership, commitment, integrity and effort.”
Freshman Henrik Hornnaess was presented the Golden Boot award for scoring the most combines points for goals and assists, while Owsley received the Golden Brick award as the top defensive player.
Voted by players, T.J. Gruber earned the Chris Fossitt Memorial Most Improved Player award while Brown garnered the Sean Arnold Memorial Coach’s Award, which personifies a “great teammate.”
Also voted on by players, Paulino was named team MVP.
Hansen’s mother, Lynne Hansen, was presented with the Game Ball award for her voluntary work in doing special things for the team, including helping to organize meals, post-game refreshments and the banquet.
In other awards and recognition, those receiving the Honor Award for a 3.0 GPA for the fall 2009 semester were Geier. Owsley and Woolum, while those earning a 3.5 or better were Paulino, Edmund Besong, Gruber and Matt Bates. For the spring 2010 semester, Bates, Leroy Besong, Brown, Nordstrom and Darrin Hinkle received a 3.0 GPA or better while Geier, Dan Painter and Paulino had a 3.5 or better. Edmund Besong posted a 4.0.
Lewis spoke of several high points to the season, as well as some low ones.
The team netted two of its three wins in the season’s opening matches, a 3-1 victory over Wittenberg at home and a 2-0 defeat of Frostburg State. Freshman Erik Hammar scored three goals in those two matches and appeared to be a target player on his way to an outstanding season, but he was sidelined in the fourth game with a season-ending injury.
WC’s 2-2 draw with Transylvania looks especially impressive in retrospect as Transy went on to post a 16-3-2 mark and play in the NCAA Tournament.
Going into the OAC schedule, Lewis felt the conference “was anybody’s,” but early losses portended what was ahead. The team beat Marietta 3-1 and played Otterbein to a 0-0 draw.
“We’d go down like a boxer in a fight, but we got back up — the training mentality of our players was outstanding,” he said. “We battled hard and gave a good effort, but, ultimately, we were in the late rounds of a fight we were not winning.”