WORCESTER -- WPI's Ben Rickson (West Warren, MA) was selected this week as an All-American men's soccer player by D3soccer.com. The senior was named a second team defender and is the first Engineer to earn the honor since the website began bestowing the award in 2010.
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 memorable awards season, as he was tabbed a first team All-America by the United Soccer Coaches. The senior was 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. Additionally, he was named to the NEWMAC's Defensive Player of the Year, was selected 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.