MACON, Ga. – Lipscomb swept the Coach of the Year and Player of the Year accolades in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference awards.
Guiding the Bisons to an 8-8-2 overall and 4-3-1 conference record, head coach Charles Morrow was named the A-Sun’s Coach of the Year. It is the first time in his career that Morrow has won the award. Morrow’s squad finished the regular season with the most wins since 2010 and tied for the highest seed (No. 3) in the A-Sun Championship in program history. If the Bisons can manage to win the championship, it would own the most wins in a single season in school history.
“Certainly the coach of the year honor isn’t just about me,” Morrow said. “It goes out to the entire group of players and coaches we have here at Lipscomb.
“I look at it as a statement about our team. It has more to do with how our program has grown and been built over the years rather than just this one year. The current and past players and staff all have a hand in that.”
Junior midfielder Omar Djabi became the first Bison in school history to take home the A-Sun Player of the Year award. Djabi earned the honor after a stellar season on the playing field where he finished the regular season with a league high nine goals and 21 total points. Four of his goals served as game-winners, tied for the most in conference. The Venezuelan native also earned credit for three assists.
“Omar had a great year for us,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “He started the season off really strong statistically. He worked extremely hard this year to get to where he needed to be.
“Omar has been the guy all year long to come up with the big goal when we needed it most.”
Djabi was also named to the first team all-conference.
Teammates Luke Gearin and Reece Holcombe each earned spots on the second team all-conference. Gearin ended the season with four scores, the second most on the team. As a defender he put seven of 19 shots on goal and helped guide Lipscomb to six shutouts, the most in school history. Holcombe, the only other Bison to have multiple scores, netted two including the game-winner at Missouri State. He served 15 of his 32 shots on frame.
“Individual accolades are a reflection on the players and even more so on what we have been able to do as a team,” Morrow said. “The guys who didn’t get recognized are just as important as those who did. We couldn’t have had the year we did without them.
“It is nice to get those honors, but we all are very aware it is a reflection on the group as a whole.”
Three Purple and Gold players were named to the All-Freshman team. Goalkeeper Micah Bledsoe, defenders Cameron Botes and Scout Monteith were all awarded for their play.
Bledsoe recorded the decision in every match while stabbing 71 saves in 1,672 minutes of play. He recorded the most individual shutouts in school history with five. His .789 save percentage ranks first in the A-Sun, ahead of the Goalkeeper of the Year, Ryan Coulter of ETSU.
As a defender, Botes started all 18 games on a defensive line that allowed only 19 goals, the fewest in school history. He was also a key cog in setting the shutout record.
Monteith started 17 of 18 games in the midfield and scored his only career goal on the road versus USC Upstate in the second half to give the Bisons a 1-0 victory on a header.
“Anytime you are awarded accolades like these, they become a product of successful teams,” Morrow said. “It gives our program credibility and I hope this only helps us build the type of program we want here at Lipscomb.”