Men's soccer end of season awards are announced

By Daniel Kerwin

The men’s soccer team held its end of season banquet on Tuesday night, taking the time to reflect on its recently completed season by watching season highlight videos, recognizing the graduating seniors on the team, and by distributing the end of season awards. Awards were handed out in four different categories, with each award being voted on by the players. Each recipient received a jacket along with the recognition.

Nate Juergens ’11 was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1st XI, Rudy Hererra-Marmol ’10 picked up the MVP honors for the 2nd XI, Reid Usedom ’12 received Freshman of the Year honors, and in an unusual course of events Andrew Yokom ’09 and Jeff Swick ’09 received an identical tally of votes to share the Mac Spirit Award, awarded to the player who best represents the attitude wanted on the team and who can be counted on as a leader on the field.

Although he wasn’t one of the team’s leading scorers, Juergens garnered the recognition of his teammates for being a “spark plug” for the team playing as a midfielder and defender.

“Certainly a large part of it is pure performance,” Head Coach Ian Barker said of Juergens winning the award. “He’s also been inspirational because he’s so competitive at what he does; he’s a tough guy on the field but he always has a smile on his face. The guys appreciate more than just the talent.”

Hererra-Marmol was the standout player on a 2nd XI squad that had a really good start to the year and showed a strong level of play all season, demonstrating the depth and competitiveness of the overall program.

“It’s always nice to be recognized by your teammates for putting the effort in,” Hererra-Marmol said.

In a freshman class that contributed heavily to this year’s campaign, Usedom took top honors after a standout year in which he scored four goals and had four assists, ranking near the top of the team in both categories.

After the awards portion of the evening, the seven graduating seniors each received a framed action photo of themselves as a tribute to their contributions throughout their Macalester career.

Each senior was recognized individually, with a selected teammate sharing their favorite stories and memories of the senior they were presenting the award to. Highlights from the presentations included Mark Mullaney’s ’11 humorous recount of Drake Andersen’s ’09 journey in life from Taiwan to Macalester, Carson Gorecki’s ’09 comments about feeling better about his goofy looks after meeting Mike Samuelson ’09, and Erik Johnson’s description of Yokom’s diving goal off of his thigh. Morgan Carlston, Dave Hanold, Ephraim Musokwa, and Swick were the other graduating seniors recognized.

The event took place in the new Hall of Fame room in the Leonard Center, acting as a showcase of the kind of events the room was intended for.

Now that the final word has been said on this past season, the focus is shifting to next year’s campaign.

It was announced that Juergens will be one of the team captains for next year, sharing the duties with Jake Rocke ’10 and Gorecki. Although Gorecki is a senior this year, he still has a year of eligibility left after missing the entire season due to a broken foot.

The ambitions for the team next year were summed up by Athletic Director Kim Chandler, who gave the opening remarks at the banquet.

“It is my hope that we return to prominence in the MIAC and in the region as being one of the most outstanding soccer programs,” Chandler said.