Men's Soccer | 11.07.2018 at 6:00 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Senior Ryan Williams of the John Brown University men's soccer team was named 2018 Sooner Athletic Offensive Player of the Year and was one of four student-athletes to receive All-Sooner Athletic honors, the conference office announced Wednesday (Nov. 7).
Williams, who also landed on the first team, was joined by first-time selection senior Conner Haney. Senior Giovani Bejarano was named to the second team while freshman Adrian Immel was chosen as co-Freshman of the Year.
"I'm very proud of our guys for pushing through some big obstacles this season and making a bit of a splash in conference despite those obstacles," head coach Brenton Benware noted. "Ryan once again proved himself to be a big-time player in our conference and he's very deserving of Offensive Player of the Year and First Team, and he certainly led our team in many ways these last several years. Conner also had a great showing in conference play and was a big contributor to our attack. I was impressed with Gio's ability to adapt to a new position this year - his coachability and positive impact helped us significantly. Finally, Adrian was such a great addition to our defensive efforts, and he's very deserving of his shared Freshman of the Year award."
Williams is the second John Brown player to be named Offensive Player of the Year over the last decade (Kelvin Omondi - 2016) and finished his career with a third-straight first-team selection. Logging over 82 percent of total playing team, Williams provided the Golden Eagles with eight goals and six assists (22 points) and one game-winning goal in JBU's upset over No. 19 Southwestern Christian (Okla) on the road. On three occasions, the Mililani, Hawaii native scored a pair of goals, none bigger than his pair against Science & Arts (Okla.). His season-best six-point effort (2 goals, 2 assists) came in the Golden Eagles' drubbing of Southwestern A.G. (Texas) in the regular season finale. He will graduate as the second all-time leader in career assists in program history.
Haney returned to the first team after collecting the same honor in 2016. Finishing tied for fourth in total points in conference play (17), the Spring, Texas native started 12 of 14 contests appeared in and piled up six goals and five assists - all in Sooner Athletic play. He attempted a season-high 10 shots and netted his lone game-winner of the season against Science & Arts (Okla.) on Oct. 6. His eight-point (3 goals, 2 assists) outing at Bacone (Okla.) set a single-season career high output.
Bejarano earned his third-career All-SAC first team selection by scoring five goals, tying his previous career high, and logging 1,245 minutes - over 85 percent of the total time on the pitch. In the defending midfield position, Bejarano helped John Brown post a 1.67 goals-against average on the season and a trio of clean sheets. The Medellin, Colombia native scored a hat trick at Bacone (Okla.) and added goals against No. 3 William Carey (Miss.) and the season finale versus Southwestern A.G. (Texas).
Immel's superlative award highlighted a strong freshman season that saw the Göppingen, Germany product man the outside back post to the tune of nearly 1,000 minutes. He started all 14 games and joined Bejarano in helping the Golden Eagles post a 1.67 goals-against average on the season. Immel notched his first collegiate point by assisting Williams' goal against Science & Arts (Okla.).
The Golden Eagles closed out the season with a 9-8-1 overall mark and a 5-4-0 record in conference play. JBU was eliminated in the Sooner Athletic tournament semifinals for the fifth-consecutive season.