Wingate University places 12 on All-Conference teams; Ander named POTY, Jara named FOTY
Date Posted: 11/5/2015
Rock Hill, S.C.----On the Men's side, Wingate University sophomore forward Jon Ander (Bilbao, Spain) has been named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, league officials announced Wednesday morning. Bulldog goalkeeper Pablo Jara (Santiago, Chile) is the SAC Freshman of the Year. The regular season co-champion Bulldogs placed a league-high eight players on the all-conference teams, including a conference-best five first team selections.
Joining Ander and Jara on the first team are two midfielders and a defender. Senior midfielder Shaun Gadsby(Newcastle, England) is joined by junior Aksel Juul (Newcastle, England). Junior defender Alex Nelson (Newcastle, England) also earns first team accolades. Junior forward Charlie Machell (Newcastle, England) is a second team All-SAC selection, along with sophomore midfielder Callum Ross (Newcastle, England) and sophomore defenderDamian Gaona (Santiago, Chile).
Ander is the second straight Wingate sophomore to earn SAC Player of the Year honors, with Machell earning the award last year. This marks the eighth time a Bulldog has been named SAC Player of the Year. Ander leads the conference with 10 goals, adding three assists to rank third in the SAC with 23 points. The sophomore had a goal and an assist in the win against UNC Pembroke, while netting the game-winner in the 2-1 victory against Anderson. He notched a hat trick in the win against Queens, while also netting the game-winner at ninth-ranked Limestone. Ander had a goal and an assist in the 2-0 victory at Coker, while registering goals in three straight games against Carson-Newman, Catawba and Lenoir-Rhyne. He leads the league with 68 shots and 39 shots on goal, ranking second in the SAC with three game-winning goals.
Jara is the sixth Wingate player to be named the league's Freshman of the Year and the first since James Lavery in 2004. Jara is the only goalkeeper in the SAC with a goals-against average under one, leading the league with a 0.81 goals-against average. He ranks second in the league with a save percentage of .806. Jara has played every minute in goal for the Bulldogs this season, notching eight shutouts while collecting 60 saves and allowing only 15 goals in 1,548 minutes of action. He collected four saves in his collegiate debut against Barton to notch the shutout. He had seven saves in the win at Mars Hill, while registering six saves in the victory at ninth-ranked Limestone. Jara had five saves in the win at LMU, while collecting back-to-back shutouts against Coker and Brevard. He notched a pair of saves in Wingate's 2-0 win against Lenoir-Rhyne in the SAC Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday.
The Wingate Men will play LMU at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, SC at 1:30 on Friday the 6th.
On the Women's side, the Wingate University Bulldogs had four players earn All-South Atlantic Conference honors, including three first team selections. Juniors Kaitlyn Brunworth (Littleton, Colo.) and Macy Franklin (Conover, N.C.) join sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Jones (Midway Park, N.C.) as first team all-conference selections. Sophomore defender Mackenzie Cherniuk (Massillon, Ohio) is a second team All-SAC defender, while freshman Kimmi Moore(Hubert, N.C.) earns honorable mention all-conference honors.
Brunworth earns All-SAC honors for the second straight year. The 2014 SAC Scholar-Athlete was also an All-Region selection in 2014. Brunworth is tied for the team lead with five goals, adding three assists for a team-best 13 points. She netted a goal in the season-opening 3-2 win at Lander, while collecting an assist in the 2-0 victory against USC Aiken. Brunworth also had an assist in the 2-1 win against Anderson, while scoring the game-winner at Lincoln Memorial. She also scored in the victory at Coker, while netting the game-winner against Catawba. Brunworth had the lone goal in Wingate's 1-0 SAC Tournament victory against Newberry Tuesday.
Franklin earns all-conference honors for the second straight year. The defensive captain was also an All-Region selection last year. Franklin has anchored a Wingate defense that has been dominant all year. The Bulldogs have allowed only six goals in 17 games, nine goals fewer than any other SAC team. Wingate has an impressive 0.34 goals-against average. The Bulldogs rank six nationally in goals-against average and seventh in shutout percentage. In addition to her defensive efforts, Franklin has registered a goal and an assist on the year. She scored in Wingate's 2-1 victory at Mount Olive. Franklin had an assist in the 2-0 win against Catawba.
Jones earns All-SAC honors for the first time in her career. The sophomore has compiled a league-best 0.24 goals-against average while also leading the league in save percentage (.925), and goals against (4). She ranks second nationally in goals-against average and second in save percentage. In 15 starts, Jones has 49 saves while allowing only four goals in 1,498 minutes, registering a SAC-best 12 shutouts. She had four saves in the USC Aiken shutout, while notching five saves in the Anderson win. Jones reeled off four consecutive shutouts in victories against LMU, Coker, Brevard and UNC Pembroke. She piled up nine saves in the 0-0 double-overtime draw against Lenoir-Rhyne. That match started a streak of five consecutive shutouts, which the Bulldogs will take into the SAC Tournament semifinals. Jones had four saves in Tuesday's 1-0 SAC Tournament win against Newberry.
Cherniuk earns All-SAC accolades for the first time in her career. The sophomore has started all 17 games for the Wingate defense, playing a team-high 1,598 minutes. Cherniuk has played a huge role in one of the nation's stingiest defenses. In addition to leading the SAC in goals-against average, the Bulldogs have piled up a league-high 12 shutouts, allowing only 8.1 shots per contest. Since allowing two goals in the season opener, the Bulldogs have not allowed multiple goals in any game, while allowing just three goals in their last 13 matches. Wingate enters the SAC Tournament semifinals having gone over 490 minutes without allowing a goal. Cherniuk also had a goal in the 5-0 victory at Coker.
Moore earns honorable mention All-SAC honors in her first season at Wingate. The freshman is tied for the team lead with five goals, adding two assists to ranks second on the team with 12 points. She had an assist in the 2-1 win at Mount Olive, while scoring her first collegiate goal at Mars Hill. Moore had a goal in the 2-1 win at Newberry, while also scoring in the next game against LMU. She had game-winners in back-to-back games against Brevard and UNC Pembroke. Moore notched an assist in the 1-0 victory against Barton.
The Wingate Women will take on Queens in the Conference Semi-Finals at 7:30 pm on Friday. The match will be played at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, SC.