Westwood, MA --- The trio of Jackson Conroy (Reading, MA), Ben Rickson (West Warren, MA) and Brian Kelley took home major awards as the NEWMAC announced their Men's Soccer honorees on Wednesday. Conroy was named the Athlete of the Year, Rickson was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year and Brian Kelley was selected the conference's Coach of the Year following voting by the conference's coaches.
Conroy and Rickson were joined on the NEWMAC's first team by senior classmates Luke Reiniger (Rowley, MA) and Mark Calnan (Winchester, MA) while junior Rufus Adams (Duxbury, MA) and Mike Biando (Atlanta, GA) were selected to the second team. Senior Jivan Purutyan (Concord, MA) was WPI's representative on the conference's All-Sportsmanship Team.
The major awards are the first for WPI in each of the three categories in the 22-year history of the conference and the only major award other that Rookie of the Year honor bestowed upon Riley Doherty in 2015. The six All-NEWMAC awardees also represents a program high.
Conroy shared the team lead in goals with six and are among six players player tied for the NEWMAC lead in game-winning goals with three. The midfielder was a 2018 second-team pick and was named NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week on September 16th and just last week selected to the CoSIDA Men's Soccer Academic All-District I team.
Rickson also upgraded to first team after a second team selection in 2018. The center back backboned a defense that leads all of NCAA Division III - 412 schools - in Goals Against Average (0.391). The senior proved his versatility with a pair of goals against Emerson and assists versus Worcester State and Mass Maritime.
Kelley guided the Crimson and Gray to a share of its second NEWMAC regular season title in the last three years as well as to a spot in the NEWMAC Tournament championship match. Under his tutelage, the Engineers have posted a 12-3-4 record and were rewarded for their strong season with a coveted Pool C (at-large) bid to the NCAA Tournament. In his eight years at WPI, Kelley has amassed a 82-32-17 mark for a .691 winning percentage.
Calnan traded his second team All-NEWMAC selection a year ago for first team honors. The forward is tied for the team lead in goals with Jackson with six and also was choosem CoSIDA Men's Soccer Academic All-District I team. Reiniger rounds out WPI's first team honorees. The midfielder tallied four goals and a team-best five assists and was named NEWMAC Offensive Player of the Week on November 4th after scoring the game-winning goal in a win against Clark that secured the top-seed in the NEWMAC Tournament.
Adams repeated his second team showing from last fall. The goalkeeper has had a junior campaign that has seen him earn four NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and joined Conroy and Calnan on the CoSIDA Men's Soccer Academic All-District I team. Biando earned all-conference recognition for the first time in 2019. The back was a major part of WPI's shutdown defense and chipped in with assists in conference home victories over Coast Guard and Springfield.
Look for more on the All-Sportsmanship team later this month.
WPI shared the NEWMAC regular season championship for the second time in three seasons and was selected Monday to participate in its fifth NCAA Division III Tournament and seventh overall. The Engineers (12-3-4) will face Nazareth on Saturday at 3:30 pm in the first round contest at defending national champion Tufts.