UU’s Roberts selected MEC Coach of the Year

BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. – Urbana University’s Nick Roberts, Nathan Jones and Raphael Northoff have earned top honors from the Mountain East Conference to headline the league’s announcement of the annual awards and all-conference teams in men’s soccer. In total, eight Blue Knights have been voted to all-conference teams, tying the school record for most all-league honorees set last year.

Roberts, who is in his ninth year, was named MEC Coach of the Year after leading the Blue Knights to a runner-up finish in the MEC. UU went 12-3-1 and spent a majority of the year in the national rankings, and achieved its highest-ever ranking at 12th earlier this season. Roberts also has UU regionally ranked putting the Blue Knights in position for a second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

Jones, a senior from Flintshire, Wales, is the MEC Defensive Player of the Year. Jones helped the Blue Knights record seven shutouts this season and became the school’s all-time leader in that category in the process. Jones posted a goals-against average of 0.55 and his save percentage of .862 is the best in the country.

Northoff, a native of Ahlen, Germany, was tabbed as the MEC Freshman of the Year after leading UU in scoring with eight goals and five assists. His 21 points on the year led all MEC freshmen and ranked ninth-best in the NCAA.

In addition to the individual honors, the league also announced the All-MEC teams.

UU’s Tom Walbeoff, Lars Blenckers and Lewis Dunne are on the All-MEC First Team. Additionally, Northoff and Thibaut Bourrier are on the second team and all-freshman squad, while Jordan Coxall and Ebenezer Agyeman were tabbed honorable mention.

UU hosts Notre Dame

In a rematch of last year’s conference semifinal, No. 2 seed UU will host No. 3 seed Notre Dame (10-4-2) Thursday at 3:30 p.m. inside UU Stadium.

General admission tickets will cost $5 for the playoff game, while ages 12 and under along with those 65 or older will be charged $3 per ticket. Urbana University faculty, staff and students will be granted free admission.

The Blue Knights and Falcons split the regular-season series with each team winning at home. Notre Dame dealt UU its first loss of the season, 4-1, on Sept. 18, while UU defeated the Falcons on Oct. 4 by a final score of 2-1. Notre Dame defeated UU in last year’s semifinal 1-0 at UU Stadium. After two previous appearances, the Blue Knights have yet to score a goal in an MEC playoff game.

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