WORCESTER, MA- Wheaton College men's soccer junior Yuri Moreira (Marlboro, MA/Northfield Mount Hermon School) was named New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year and was among five all-conference selections on Tuesday at the postseason meeting at Clark University.
Moreira became the sixth Wheaton player to earn the league's top individual honor, including the first since 2005, and the forward was the first Lyon striker to be selected since 1999. Joining him on the first team were juniors David Ferriero (Medway, MA/Medway) and Josh Solomon (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional), who each landed on the first team last fall. Classmate Kyle Sye (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxboro Regional) became the fifth player in program history to draw three all-conference honors, as he and freshman Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, MA/Rivers School) earned second-team selections.
Moreira, who was named to the second squad as a sophomore, leads the NEWMAC in points (34), goals (16) and game-winning markers (7), tying for third in school annals in single-season goals, placing seventh in points and coming within one of the eight-year-old mark for game-winners. Moreira recorded at least one marker in 11 contests, turning in all of Wheaton's goals during four victories, including in a 2-1 win at then-nationally-ranked Western New England College. Moreira scored the team's first goal nine times, including tallying in a 1-0 win over Springfield College during the regular season before netting the overtime winner against the United States Coast Guard Academy and both markers in a 2-0 victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He enters his senior year tied for second at Wheaton in career goals (35) and seventh in points (76).
Ferriero started 20 games in the backfield, anchoring a defense that is first in the NEWMAC in fewest goals allowed, most shutouts and lowest goals against average. During league play, the Lyons yielded just three markers in six games, including one on a penalty kick. Ferriero's goal this season staked Wheaton to a lead against nationally-ranked Williams College, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Blue and White allowed one goal or fewer 18 times, posting 10 shutouts while yielding no more than two goals in any contest, turning the feat for the first time since the 2001 campaign. The Lyons' 0.76 GAA was fourth best in school history.
A forward, Solomon provided a scoring punch for the top offensive team in the conference, tying for eighth in the NEWMAC in each points (19) and goals (7) while tying for ninth in assists (5). In addition to scoring two game-winning goals, he assisted two more. Against Coast Guard, Solomon netted the tying marker in an eventual overtime win before assisting the go-ahead goal during a 2-1 victory over Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He recorded a hat trick once while picking up two assists twice.
As one of three players to start all 23 games, Sye was an instrumental midfield contributor on both offense and defense. He provided the game-winning goal against NCAA Tournament qualifier Saint Joseph's College of Maine and assisted the Lyons' first marker against the University of Southern Maine.
In his first fall of college soccer, Jeffrey, a midfielder, tied for the league lead in assists (4) during conference play while tying for ninth overall in helpers (5). Three of Jeffrey's assists came on game-winning goals, including two in NEWMAC play, while he lent a hand in the game-tying marker during an eventual overtime win against Coast Guard. In the league tournament, Jeffrey netted the 75th-minute winner versus Springfield in the first round before giving the Lyons an 81st-minute advantage in an eventual 3-2 victory over Clark in the semifinals.
Wheaton finished the fall at 18-4-1 overall and 5-1 in the NEWMAC, suffering its four losses to a trio of teams that made the NCAA Tournament field. The Lyons are ranked seventh in the most recent National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) New England poll.