CLEVELAND, Ohio – Junior defender Thomas M'Barek and senior forward Gabriel Pewu of the Cleveland State University men's soccer team were both named All-Horizon League First Team in an announcement made by the league office Monday morning.
True freshman goalkeeper Omeed Naeemy joined his teammates in earning an honor as he was named to the league's All-Freshman Team.
This is the third straight season that M'Barek has been honored in the league's postseason awards announcement although it is his first of the First Team variety. It is the first-such award for Pewu after he finished his time as a Viking with a career year.
It marks the first season since 2016 that two Vikings were named to the league's First Team.
M'Barek is in his second season as a captain for the Vikings. He started 14 of 15 matches in central defense, helping anchor the unit that has allowed the fewest goals in the Horizon League. The 2018 All-Horizon League Second Team selection was third among Viking outfield players with 1,266 minutes played. He helped CSU allow a league-low 17 goals in 15 matches as the Vikings posted notable results against Louisville, Ohio State and Akron. M'Barek also scored his first collegiate goal in the home-opening win.
Pewu led Cleveland State with nine goals and 19 points in his final season, both of which are tied for the highest figure by a Viking since 2003. He sits among the top five in the league in both categories. Pewu had some of his best performances against some of the Vikings' toughest foes. He netted twice in wins over Akron and Ohio State, scoring the game-winner in each match. Pewu also scored the game-tying goal at Louisville with fewer than 10 minutes left in regulation and scored the golden goal in the 100th minute against Northern Kentucky.
Pewu becomes the first Viking forward to be named All-League First Team since 2013.
Naeemy leads the Horizon League in both goals against average (1.10) and save percentage (.787) as he backstopped the league's best defense. He sits third among all Division I freshmen with his save percentage figure and is the only one of the top three to have played over 1,000 minutes in net. Naeemy had a huge effort at regular-season champion UIC when the Vikings were reduced to 10 men. He posted 16 saves, a mark which tied the Horizon League single-match record that had stood for 31 years. He also posted nine saves to help the Vikings defeat Akron.
Naeemy is the first Viking goalkeeper to be named to the All-Freshman Team this decade.
This is the fifth consecutive season in which multiple Vikings have earned First or Second Team honors.