Six men's soccer players named all-conferenceIn addition, senior Richard Chegwin-Goelkel (Barranquilla, Colombia) was the UWS entrant on the all-sportsmanship team.
Five members of the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s soccer team were named to the 2012 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference all-conference team. Three Yellowjackets received first-team recognition while two were named to the second team.
Forward Ben Royce (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), midfielder Nate Engel (Maple Grove, Minn.) and defender Alex Young (Woodbury, Minn.) received first-team recognition, meanwhile senior defender Bryan McBride (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and sophomore goalkeeper Matt Elder (New Hope, Minn.) were named to the second team.
In addition, senior Richard Chegwin-Goelkel (Barranquilla, Colombia) was the UWS entrant on the all-sportsmanship team.
Royce was the leading scoring for the Yellowjackets in 2012, scoring 14 goals and 29 points, both career highs. Entering his senior season, Royce is nearing point-per-game territory, to date having posted 48 points in 60 contests, including 20 goals.
“Offensively, Ben was our leader, no doubt about it,” UWS coach Joe Mooney said. “We knew when we brought him in that he was going to be a dynamic player in the conference one day and as a junior he really came into his own. He’s going to be a big-game player for us as a senior.”
Engel started his season off in a big way, being named to the all-tournament team at the Advantage Emblem Cup. He matched his career bests in goals (3), assists (2) and points (8) while playing in every match for the Yellowjackets. He was also an All-WIAC selection in 2010.
“Nate does everything we ask of him on the field. He’s played a lot of soccer for us during his three years and there’s a reason for that,” Mooney said. “He’s just so steady and does everything well on the field. His numbers aren’t huge, but at the end of the game you look back and realize what a significant impact he had on the outcome.”
Young has become a strong two-way presence for the Yellowjackets. After appearing in just three matches as a freshman, Young has played in all 40 the past two seasons. This season, as a junior, Young tied his career bests in goals (2) and assists (2) while establishing a new career high in points (6).
"As a coach, you really enjoy it when you see the progression that athletes make from their first day on campus to where they are when they leave. Alex has had a great progression. He has really grown since he's come here," Mooney said. "Today he is a threat on both ends of the field and he adds tremendous leadership to the back end for us. He'll play a huge role in our success next season as a senior."
McBride closed out his senior season by scoring his lone goal of the year and being named WIAC Defensive Athlete of the Week after the Yellowjackets downed Finlandia 11-0 in the season finale. A team captain, McBride helped guide the young Yellowjackets through a rash of injuries to the defense corps.
“Bryan was in a difficult position this year. We lost a lot to graduation last spring and he had to step in fill roles as a leader and as a defensive player, something that isn’t always easy to do,” Mooney said. “Bryan did the job well and was a great example for our young guys that will take over for him now that he’s graduated.”
Elder was the starter for the Yellowjackets from day one and proved to be more than up to the task. In 16 games on the year, Elder went 10-5-2 with a 1.25 goals against average, a .792 save percentage and three shutouts.
“All you ask of your goalkeeper is to make sure he gives your team a chance to win, and Matt certainly did that for us in goal,” Mooney said. “He had a bit of a slow start, as even he will tell you, but as the year went on he got better and better back there and by the end of the year was playing all-conference-type goal for us. He’s only scratching the surface on how good he can be in goal.”
Chegwin-Goelkel played 17 games as a senior, scoring one goal and two assists for four points. He finished his career with seven goals and seven assists for 21 points in 61 games as a Yellowjacket.
“Richard is just an all-around class act, on the field and off of it. There’s a reason he is on this team, and it isn’t just because he was a senior,” Mooney said. “It’s about the way he handles himself, the way he goes about his business every day. He carries himself with class and that is going to serve him very well down the road.”