UMHB men's soccer puts 7 on all-conference team

Posted at 10:04 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 23:04:42-05

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s soccer team placed seven athletes on the All-American Southwest Conference teams released Tuesday. UMHB had all seven athletes named First Team All-ASC. Brad Bankhead was named ASC Coach of the Year, Case Carnes was picked as Offensive Player of the Year, Caleb Vandergriff earned Defensive Player of the Year and Javier Zaragoza was voted Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.


Bankhead is in his 12th year with the Cru and earning his second ASC Coach of the Year award. He and assistant coach Ben Allen guided UMHB to its fourth consecutive ASC Tournament berth this season and second regular season title. UMHB also set a new ASC record for consecutive wins (12) in a season and program record for total wins in a season (15). The Cru was also ranked in the Top 25 poll for the second season and is making its second appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament.


Case Carnes, a senior forward from Tyler, Texas (Robert E. Lee H.S.), was named Offensive Player of the Year. Carnes leads the ASC in shots (53) and game-winning goals (6) this season, ranking second in points (20), goals (8) and assists (4). He also leads the Cru in every offensive category this season and set new program records for game-winning goals in a season and game-winning goals in a career (11). He has scored or assisted a goal in 10 of UMHB’s 18 games including the conference-winning goal against UT Tyler. Carnes was also First Team All-ASC selection.


Caleb Vandergriff, a junior defender from Georgetown, Texas (East View H.S.) was named Defensive Player of the Year. Vandergriff has started in all 18 games for the Cru and anchors a back line that has allowed just 58 shots on goal this season. He has played a team-leading 1,645 minutes as a defender and added four goals and one assist, including game-winning goals over Schreiner and UT Dallas. Vandergriff was also the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and named First Team All-ASC.


Javier Zaragoza, a senior goalkeeper from San Antonio, Texas (Madison H.S.) was named Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year is an award given to athletes who display exemplary character on and off the field. Javier serves on the leadership team for the Men’s Soccer program and is an FCA leader. He is also involved in mentoring middle school students and numerous other community service projects. Javier was named 2016 UMHB Exercise and Sport Science Student of the Year and carries a 3.6 GPA in his major. He is also a student representative on the Board of Directors for the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine and is an outstanding ambassador for the UMHB Men’s Soccer program both on and off the field.


Joining Carnes and Vandergriff on the All-ASC First Team are goalkeeper Bryce Eichhorn and defenders Steven Dang and Luke Lopez. Eichhorn, a senior from Aurora, Colorado (Smoky Hill H.S.), leads the ASC with a 0.42 goals-against average and ranks second with a .857 save percentage. Eichhorn has surrendered just six goals in 1,284 minutes of action and recorded seven shutouts. Dang, a junior from Plano, Texas (West H.S.) and Lopez, a senior from Abilene, Texas (Cooper H.S.), join Vandergriff on a back line that ranks second in the conference in goals allowed (10) and goals-against average (0.55). UMHB’s defense has recorded 10 shutouts in 2017 and allowed four or less shots on-goal in 16 contests.


Midfielders Caleb Almanza and Martin Lopez were also selected First Team All-ASC. Almanza, a senior from Odessa, Texas (Permian H.S.), has played almost 1,500 minutes in the midfield for UMHB this season. He has one goal and two assists on the year and anchors a midfield that has scored 14 goals this season. Martin Lopez, a sophomore from Hutto, Texas (East View H.S.), has scored three goals for the Cru, including game-winning goals against Ozarks and Hardin-Simmons. He has added two assists and played more than 1,050 minutes.


This is the third all-conference award for Almanza, Carnes and Vandergriff, second for Dang and first for Eichhorn, Luke Lopez and Martin Lopez.


UMHB returns to action in 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament. The Cru will face Willamette University on Saturday, November 11th at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of Trinity University in San Antonio.