ST. MARY’S CITY, MD – The York College men’s soccer team received great news Tuesday afternoon as seven Spartans garnered 2007 All-Capital Athletic Conference honors. Sophomore midfielder Jon Ports (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) was selected as the CAC Player-of-the-Year in his first season in the green and white. York has now earned back-to-back conference Player-of-the-Year accolades as Ports follows Andrew Wheeler’s (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco) selection last season. The Spartans currently sit at 19-2 and are set to begin the NCAA tournament this weekend.
Ports was joined on the first team by senior forward Wheeler and junior defender Evan Scheffey (Lititz, Pa./Warwick). Senior forward Jason Mancuso (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North), senior midfielder Matt Detzel (York, Pa./Central York), junior defender Mike Whalen (Philadelphia, Pa./LaSalle), and junior goalkeeper Kyle Marks (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) each garnered second team honors.
Ports received the Player-of-the-Year distinction after a stellar 2007 campaign. The sophomore stood atop the conference with 45 points and 15 assists, while he was tied for the league lead in goals with 15 scores. A dynamic, quick and creative forward, Ports started all 21 York contests this season after transferring from the University of Maryland. He has registered seven game-winning tallies with four of those coming against CAC opponents. In conference play, Ports notched nine scores to go along with seven assists for 25 points.
“He’s been the engine for us all year whether up front or in the midfield,” Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig commented. “He’s dangerous for us at scoring and creating chances.”
Wheeler is no stranger to the All-CAC list after being named the Player-of-the-Year in 2006. This season, the talented forward has registered eleven goals and ten assists for 32 points. Only playing in six CAC games, he scored three times and distributed five assists. Included in Wheeler’s trio of CAC goals are two game-winning tallies. Wheeler will conclude his Spartan career as one of the best players to ever don the green and white recording 115 points on 45 goals and 25 assists.
“He has had a different role,” Ludwig said about Wheeler’s senior campaign. “He has been dangerous as a playmaker and scored some big goals for us.”
Scheffey has solidified himself as one of the top defensive players in the region as he receives back-to-back first-team bids. A tough, aggressive and smart defender, Scheffey leads the Spartan backline with his constant communication and strong tackles. A two-year captain, Scheffey’s leadership proves invaluable to the success of the Spartans. He is part of the foundation of a stingy York defense that has only allowed 15 goals all season. In CAC play, the Spartans only surrendered five scores posting a solid 0.62 goals against average.
“Scheffey is solid in the back, organizing our team,” the Spartan mentor noted. “He’s been our leader all year.”
Mancuso earned All-CAC accolades after notching 13 goals and seven assists in 20 Spartan matches. A senior transfer, Mancuso has provided the Spartan attack with an added edge and a nose for the goal. The speedy, athletic forward has tallied five goals to go along with a pair of assists in seven CAC games.
Detzel came into the Spartan program after transferring from the University of Pittsburgh. A technical and shifty midfielder, Detzel’s poise and comfort on the ball have been keys to the Spartan offense. He has played in and started all 21 matches this season, scoring four times and distributing three assists for 11 points. In CAC action, he has tallied six points on two goals and two assists.
“It is impressive that a new player can gain All-Conference honors,” Ludwig said about Mancuso and Detzel. “Jason has done well finding holes and being able to finish. Matt has created chances and scored a couple of big goals for us.”
Whalen earns his first All-CAC selection from his central defender position. He strong and athletic back who consistently makes solid tackles to thwart dangerous opportunities. Whalen is also comfortable getting forward into the Spartan attack as he has scored five times and distributed one assist. The captain’s lone assist came against Mary Washington when he found Wheeler’s head for the game-winning score in York’s 2-1 road victory. Whalen has been a key cog in a Spartan defensive unit that has allowed multiple scores in only two contests this season.
“He sometimes gets overshadowed,” Ludwig said. “But he is a very solid, simple back that helps keep our defense together.”
Marks continues his streak of CAC accolades after earning Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2005 and a first team selection last year. A quick and intelligent goalkeeper, Marks has started 20 Spartan games and currently sports a record of 18-2. A Spartan captain, he has played 1515:15 of the Spartans’ 1890:54 this season and owns a solid .705 goals against average. Playing in and starting seven CAC matches, Marks only allowed three goals in league play.
“He has been solid in goal,” Ludwig noted. “He does well organizing the back line and has been much more vocal this year.”
The Spartans received an at-large bid into this year’s NCAA tournament. York will travel to Stevens Institute of Technology this weekend and are set to take on Dickinson College in the first round of the tournament. The match is scheduled for Saturday with an approximate start time of 7:30 pm