Fubara named Preseason Player of the Year as Bucs voted to finish second
MACON, Ga. (August 3, 2011) – On Wednesday, the Atlantic Sun Conference released its men’s soccer preseason honors and awards which included two Buccaneers being named to the Preseason All-Conference Team and one being named Preseason Player of the Year.
Sophomore forward Itode Fubara (Ogbema, Nigeria), last year’s Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP, was named the Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year - marking the first time any ETSU men’s soccer student-athlete has received the honor. Fubara joined senior Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.), a two-time honoree, as the two Bucs who were each unanimously selected to the team.
Of the 12 honorees (resulting from a tie in voting), Fubara and Schoenfeld were two of just four unanimous selections for the squad.
“(Fubara and Schoenfeld) work so hard to continue to improve,” said head coach Scott Calabrese. “It’s great to see their hard work being recognized by the other coaches in the conference.”
Calabrese, now in his fourth season as the head coach of ETSU men’s soccer, comes off a season in which he was honored as well, having been named the 2010 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year and NSCAA/Mondo South Region Coach of the Year.
Coming off their first Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Bucs also received their highest ever preseason ranking on Wednesday, as they were voted to place second in the Conference Preseason Poll - their previous high being fourth.
Receiving four first-place votes, ETSU fell just one vote short, 77 votes to 76 votes, of being ranked first in the Preseason Poll behind defending Atlantic Sun Regular Season Champion Florida Gulf Coast.
“It’s flattering to see the conference coaches recognize us as one of the top programs in the conference,” said Calabrese. “The conference as a whole is continuing to improve and the RPIs from last season are indicative of that.”
Last November, in an article by ESPN.com’s Sheldon Shealer, the Atlantic Sun was recognized for having four of the top five RPI improvements from 2009 to 2010. ETSU led the way by rising 144 spots from the previous year.
For the Bucs, this marks the second consecutive year in which two student-athletes were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Last year, Schoenfeld and former ETSU student-athlete Guilherme Reis earned the preseason honors, with Reis being a unanimous selection.
ETSU will kick off the 2011 season with an exhibition match on Aug. 14 against Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer link.