Four ‘Cats earn MEC post-season soccer awards

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Davis & Elkins’ Daniel Cerezo, Alex Estrada-Avila and head coach Dean Johnson, along with Notre Dame’s Ailton Silva, have earned top honors from the Mountain East Conference as the league announced its annual awards and all-conference teams.

Cerezo, a junior forward from Madrid, Spain, has poured in a league-high 12 goals to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors in the MEC. His seven game-winning goals are the most in the country. His 0.67 goals per game and 1.50 points per game rank among the league leaders.

Estrada-Avila, a senior from Ellicott City, Md., is the league’s Defensive Player of the Year after helping lead one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. The Senators have given up just six goals on the year, and the team’s 0.33 goals-against average is second-best in the country. Estrada-Avila has also stepped forward to provide seven goals for D&E. 

Silva was selected as the MEC Freshman of the Year after scoring nine goals and six assists this season. His 1.71 points per game was tops among league freshmen and ranks 25th in the country. He also ranks among the league leaders in goals per game (0.64) and assists per game (0.43).

Johnson was tabbed as the MEC Coach of the Year after directing Davis & Elkins to a 16-0-2 record and the school’s first MEC regular season title. In addition to an unbeaten regular season, D&E has posted an NCAA-best 13 shutouts and allowed only six goals on the year. The Senators also rank sixth in the country in with 3.06 goals per game. Coach Johnson’s squad has been nationally ranked for a majority of the season, rising as high as No. 2 in the polls. The Senators have also been in the recent editions of the NCAA Super Region 1 rankings.

In addition to the individual honors, the league also announced the All-MEC teams. Regular season champion Davis & Elkins had six first team selections, while Notre Dame had four and Charleston had three. The 14-player All-MEC second team was comprised of players from seven different schools. 

Four members of the West Virginia Wesleyan men’s soccer team were recognized in the All-Mountain East Conference awards — three earning Second Team honors and one player being tabbed for All-Freshman honors.
Charlie Naylor’s defensive efforts landed him on the All-MEC Second Team. The Oxted, England native also netted three goals, including the game-winner against West Liberty.
Romford, England native Connor Hartwell garnered All-MEC Second Team honors. The senior midfielder registered nine points from his holding midfield position, including a three point performance during the regular-season opener against California (Pa.).
Nika Monaselidze earned a spot on the All-MEC Second Team recognition. Monaselidze tallied a total of 18 points on six goals and six assists. Monaselidze registered at least one point in nine out of the first ten matches. The senior from Tbilisi, Georgia, led the Orange & Black in scoring while adding two game winners to his account.
Freshman Zacharias Kohring was featured on the All-MEC Freshman Team. The midfielder was a mainstay in the Bobcats lineup, starting 15 out of the 18 matches he appeared in.

The All-MEC teams are selected by a vote of the league’s coaches.

2021 All-MEC First Team
GKJeremy CosteSr.Davis & Elkins
DAlex Estrada-AvilaSr.Davis & Elkins
DAntonio BittencourtSo.Notre Dame
DLucas ChristensenSo.Charleston
DGianluca FioriniSo.Davis & Elkins
MLuckas HackaaSo.Notre Dame
MDavid JaraJr.Davis & Elkins
MAlexis LedouxSo.Charleston
MHaruki YamazakiJr.Davis & Elkins
FDaniel CerezoJr.Davis & Elkins
FNed DryJr.Notre Dame
FGabriel RodriguezGr.Charleston
FAilton SilvaFr.Notre Dame
2021 All-MEC Second Team
GKJoel AssalSr.Frostburg State
DJosh GabrielSr.Alderson Broaddus
DEduardo IranzoGr.Charleston
DMartin LagoFr.Davis & Elkins
DCharlie NaylorJr.West Virginia Wesleyan
MPloutarchos AloneftiJr.Charleston
MTaylor DysonFr.Notre Dame
MConnor HartwellSr.West Virginia Wesleyan
MLuis MaestreFr.Charleston
MBenardo VilchisGr.West Liberty
FNika MonaselidzeSr.West Virginia Wesleyan
FAndreas RossakFr.Alderson Broaddus
FLiam TomanFr.West Liberty
2021 All-MEC Honorable Mention
GK: Noah Underwood (WLU)
D: Matt Garrett (FROST), Davide Materazzi (DE), Emil Rasmussen (UC)
F: Carlos Almeida (NDC), Richard Afolayanka (WU), Alejandro Larrayoz (UC)
2021 All-MEC Freshman Team*
FDominique CastanoDavis & Elkins
MTaylor DysonNotre Dame
MZacharias KohringWest Virginia Wesleyan
FAndreas RossakAlderson Broaddus
MLuis MaestreCharleston
FAilton SilvaNotre Dame
FLiam TomanWest Liberty
* Players who competed in the spring season were not eligible for the All-Freshman team despite their remaining years of eligibility.
Offensive Player of the Year: Daniel Cerezo (Davis & Elkins)
Defensive Player of the Year: Alex Estrada (Davis & Elkins)
Freshman of the Year: Ailton Silva (Notre Dame)
Coach of the Year: Dean Johnson (Davis & Elkins)

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