Greensboro, NC --- WPI's Ben Rickson (West Warren, MA) became the first Engineer men's soccer player in 27 years to be named an All-America when he was recognized as a Division III first team back by the United Soccer Coaches as announced Thursday evening at the championship banquet preceding the national semifinals in Greensboro, NC.
The senior becomes just the 11th player in program history to be selected an All-America and first since Ryan Burke was selected to the second team in 1992. Rickson joins Amaro Goncalves (1984) as the only two players in Crimson and Gray history to earn first team accolades and he is just one of three backs this year, out of over 400 Division III schools, to be selected to the first team.
Rickson was the NEWMAC's Defensive Athlete of the Year as the center back backboned a defense that leads all of NCAA Division III - 412 schools - in Goals Against Average (0.452). The Crimson and Gray posted 13 shutouts in 21 contests in 2019 and had six other matches allowing just one goal. With Rickson patrolling the backline, WPI allowed just 201 shots on the season, compared to 369 shots taken offensively.
The senior proved his versatility with a pair of goals against Emerson and assists versus Worcester State and Mass Maritime.
Rickson has had a busy awards season, in addition to being named to the NEWMAC's Defensive Player of the Year, he was tabbed to the conference's first team, drew first team All-New England honors and was selected to play in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League (NEISL) Senior All-Star Game.
The Engineers finished with a 13-4-4 record under NEWMAC Coach of the Year Brian Kelley, shared the NEWMAC regular season title and won a game in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1976.