Contact: Jeff Sattora
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The Horizon League announced this afternoon Cleveland State Vikings' Head Men's Soccer Coach Ali Kazemaini and seven CSU players have been honored with post-season award selections.
Kazemaini, in his seventh season leading the Vikings, has been named the league's `Coach of the Year' for the first time. The former Cleveland State player has helped to build the program from the ground up, taking over the team in 2006 following a winless campaign. CSU's second place league finish in 2012 is the highest the team has ended the regular season in the Horizon League standings since the 2002 campaign.
Junior defender Cameron Eisses joined Kazemaini in earning individual honors, being named the league's `Defensive Player of the Year.' Eisses, also an All-League first team member, was a defensive anchor all season long for CSU, helping to lead a defense that posted a league-high seven shutouts on the year.
Two classmates, forward Admir Suljevic and midfielder Aslinn Rodas, joined Eisses on the All-League first team for the Vikings. The three first team members were the most by any team in the conference.
CSU was also able to pick up two Second Team selections in junior defender Zach Ellis-Hayden and senior goalie Brad Stuver, as well as two All-Newcomer team selections in freshman forward Alfonso Sandoval and freshman defender Danilo Rdjen.
Suljevic, who is a member of the All-League first team for the second time in his career, was a focal point of a balanced CSU offense all season long. He led the Vikings with 12 points on the year, picking up four goals to go along with his four assists. The forward's four goals tied him for the team lead, with the four assists putting him first on the team alone.
Rodas ended his 2012 campaign with two goals and three assists, allowing him to finish the season with seven points. That total was good enough for fifth on the team. Rodas was an All-League second team selection last season.
Stuver, who has earned his fourth consecutive All-League selection (two first teams and two second teams), was once again a standout in goal for Cleveland State in 2012. Not only did the senior lead the league in shutouts with seven, he was second in saves with 72 and second in goals against average with 0.89. His eighteen career shutouts currently place him at third all-time in the CSU record books in that category.
Junior Zach Ellis-Hayden was a standout defender for the Vikings all season long, and has picked up his first career post-season honor with the second team selection. The defender played in all 17 of the team's contests (starting 13), and ending the season second on the team with 10 points. He was also able to tie for the team lead with four goals.
Both Sandoval and Radjen mixed in effortlessly with the veteran CSU group to help them earn the all-newcomer team selections. Sandoval ended the season with two goals, both game winners (against Michigan and in overtime vs. Wright State). Radjen tied for second on the team with 15 starts as a member of one of the league's best defenses.
The Vikings will look to make a run at the Horizon League tournament title as they play in the semi-finals of the Horizon League tournament this Friday at 11 a.m. in Detroit. CSU will play an opponent to be determined.
1st Team All-League
Adam Bedell, Detroit
Ivan Stanisavljevic, UIC
Admir Suljevic, Cleveland State
Laurie Bell, Milwaukee
Pat Lepera, Detroit
Aslinn Rodas, Cleveland State
Brett Elder, Wright State
Jesus Torres, UIC
Cam Eisses, Cleveland State
Sam Krenzien, Green Bay
Kyle Zobeck, Valparaiso
2nd Team All-League
Derek Zuniga, Wright State
Thomas Villamil, UIC
Jonathon Smith, Valparaiso
Eric Nieto, Valparaiso
Josh Beard, UIC
James Ashcroft, Milwaukee
Matt Ybarra, Detroit
Matt Nedwicki, Detroit
Zach Ellis-Hayden, Cleveland State
Declan Rodriguez, Milwaukee
Brad Stuver, Cleveland State
Player of the Year: Adam Bedell, Detroit
Offensive Player of the Year: Adam Bedell, Detroit
Defensive Player of the Year: Cam Eisses, Cleveland State
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kyle Zobeck, Valparaiso
Newcomer of the Year: Brett Elder, Wright State
Coach of the Year: Ali Kazemaini, Cleveland State