Ohio Wesleyan sophomore midfielder Hector Gomez (Columbus, OH/St. Francis De-Sales), Wabash senior defender Michael Tanchevski (Crown Point, IN/Crown Point) and Kenyon sophomore forward Scott Upton (Perrysburg, OH/St. Francis De-Sales) were named the Players of the Year to highlight the 2019 All-North Coast Athletic Conference men’s soccer selections.
Gomez, the Newcomer of the Year and a second-team forward from a season ago, was tabbed the 2019 NCAC Midfielder of the Year. The sophomore held a strong presence in the Ohio Wesleyan midfield all season, earning first-team honors in 2019 as a midfielder. In the Battling Bishops’ nine regular-season conference matches, Gomez tallied seven points on one goal and a conference-best five assists. In 21 overall games, he totaled 12 points with a league-leading 10 assists. The Bishops allowed just two goals in nine NCAC games for a league-low 0.22 goals-against-average.
Tanchevski, who is a repeat All-NCAC first-team selection, was tabbed the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. The senior and his backline anchored a defense that allowed just five goals in 830:59 minutes of action for a 0.54 goals-against-average in conference play. He and his teammates held NCAC opponents to an average of just 4.63 shots-on-goal per game, while recording eight overall shutouts this season. Tanchevski also tallied two goals and one assist in conference action. He netted one goal in a 1-1 tie with Kenyon on Oct. 19, while his other score came in a 3-1 win over Wittenberg on Oct. 22. He also set up the goal in a 1-0 win over Ohio Wesleyan on Oct. 26.
Upton earned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and has been named to the All-NCAC first team in his second season of collegiate play. The sophomore tallied seven goals to go along with two assists for 16 total points in 19 games. He netted three game-winning goals this season, including two game-winners against Oberlin, one on Oct. 30 and the other in a semifinal victory over the Yeomen on Nov. 6, while also netting the only goal of the game in a win over Centre on Sept. 14. The Lords captured their 11th NCAC championship and fifth conference tournament title this season.
Ohio Wesleyan senior midfielder Brady Whittekind (Hilliard, OH/Bradley) is the only four-time All-NCAC selection on the squad, after earning first-team honors in 2018 and honorable mention accolades in 2017 and 2016. Wabash junior goalkeeper Chad Wunderlich (St. Louis, MO/John Burroughs School) repeats as a first-team honoree, while Ohio Wesleyan’s senior forward Adam Yingling (Gettysburg, PA/Gettysburg Area) and senior defender Joe Brush (Lawrenceburg, IN/East Central) elevate to the first team after being named second-teamers a season ago. Brush also claimed second-team honors in 2017. Battling Bishop senior defender Charles Branche III (Washington, DC/Landon (MD.) School) makes the jump to the first team after being tabbed to the honorable mention squad last season.
Three additional players make their All-NCAC debut on the 2019 first team, including Kenyon sophomore forward Sam Carson (Denver, CO/Denver East), Kenyon junior defender Sam Hosmer-Quint (Columbia, MO/Hickman) and DePauw senior forward Jay Klein (Wyoming, OH/Wyoming).
Hiram freshman Keagan Le’Roux (Randburg, South Africa/Western Reserve Academy) was named the 2019 NCAC Newcomer of the Year as the league’s top player in his first year of collegiate competition. The rookie recorded 16 points after scoring eight goals, two of which were netted in NCAC play. He was selected to the All-NCAC second team in his first year of collegiate play.
Finally, Wabash head coach Chris Keller was named the NCAC Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year for the third time in his eight-year career in Crawfordsville. He led the Little Giants to a top-three finish for the fourth-consecutive season with a 5-2-2 NCAC mark. Keller has amassed an overall record of 76-55-16 in his eight seasons at Wabash.