MACON, Ga. – When the Atlantic Sun Conference announced the 2015 Men’s Soccer All-Conference team Wednesday, the Lipscomb Bisons were heavily recognized with six players earning postseason honors.
Redshirt freshman Logan Paynter made his postseason awards debut with a first-team selection, while sophomore Ivan Alvarado landed first-team honors for the second straight season. Anthony Cedano, Matt Kerridge and Joe Kerridge are All-ASun second team selections, while Paynter and Cole Brown are a part of the All-Freshman team.
"I could not be happier for our guys," Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. "They were all deserving of the awards, but like we've said in the past, if we don't finish in the top portion of the conference, then we don't have that many guys recognized.
"It really speaks to the group and the guys who have been putting in the work all year, but don't necessarily get their names in the box scores or the releases. I hope they take pride in these honors as well, because this is a reflection of our group as a whole.
Here is a look at the season notes for Lipscomb’s 2015 All-Conference honorees:
Forward – Logan Paynter: With his all-conference nod, Lipscomb has now placed a freshman on the first-team in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. The forward’s six goals paced the Bisons offense and is the third most in the A-Sun. His 12 points, tied with Alvarado for the team lead, are fifth-most.
"I am so happy for Logan, especially after going throught the year he had last season," Morrow said. "He struggled early on, but towards the latter part of the season he started to come on. We thought he was a guy that could have probably helped us last season, but we decided to stick to a redshirt and save the year.
"He continued that growth and development through the spring and put together a great season this fall. He put in a tremendous amount of work and is very deserving."
Playing all but 19 minutes this season, the Bradenton, Florida native was just one of three players to start all 16 games for Lipscomb. He led the team in shots (37) and shots on goal (19). Paynter nailed the game-winner in the regular season finale at Stetson to clinch the No. 3 seed for the Bisons in the conference tournament.
Midfielder – Ivan Alvarado: Becomes the first Bison to earn first-team honors in back-to-back seasons since Garrett Pettis did it in 2010-11. Although he was injured for much of 2015, Alvarado finished the regular season fifth in the A-Sun with 12 points on four goals and four assists. He recorded an assist in each of the final three matches of the year, while also scoring twice in that span.
"The first team award for Ivan is pretty tellinig," Morrow said. "He has been hurt for most of the year, and is just now getting healthy. But coaches see film and they have seen him in games. I think he is one of the most complete attacking players in the conference, if not the best. The good news is we still have him for two more years.
"Hopefully he continues to grow and develop. I know from a physical and confidence standpoint, he was much better this year than he was in 2014. I have high hopes for him in the next two seasons."
The Texas native scored the game-winner for the Bisons in a come-from-behind, 2-1, victory over No. 10 Xavier on September 3rd. In 13 games played, he attempted 29 shots, placing 13 on frame. He also led the league having taken 50 corner kicks.
Forward – Matt Kerridge: Second consecutive All-Conference honor after earning a first-team selection in 2014. He tied for second on the team with four goals. Kerridge hit game-winners against IUPUI, Jacksonville and USC Upstate to lead the A-Sun. He is also the league’s active leader with five career game-winning strikes.
Midfielder – Anthony Cedano: First career all-conference selection for the captain. Started 12 of the 13 matches he played in and recorded three assists to give him six for his career.
Set up Matt Kerridge’s game-winning goal in the conference opener at Upstate with an assist in the 21st minute. Cedano was also an Academic All-Conference member a season ago.
Defender – Joe Kerridge: First career postseason award after finishing with two assists. Helped anchor a backline that pitched three shutouts, two of which came against conference foes.
Tallied an assist on the game-winner against Jacksonville. He played all but three minutes on the year and was one of three Bisons to start all 16 matches.
Defender - Cole Brown: After sitting in the season opener against Belmont, Brown was injected into the starting lineup the very next game and went on to start 12 matches. He helped Lipscomb to three shutouts and played full minutes 10 times.
Forward - Logan Paynter.
In other awards announced Wednesday, Florida Gulf Coast took four of the five top yearly honors. Player of the Year went to Rodrigo Saravia, while Aaron Guillen and Nathan Ingham were named Defender and Goalkeeper of the Year, respectively.
Co-Coaches of the year went to FGCU’s Bob Butehorn and North Florida’s Derek Marinatos. Freshman of the Year went to Upstate’s Gordon Wild, the A-Sun’s top goal scorer with 14.
The Bisons now head to the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament on Saturday to face No. 2 North Florida. Game time is set for 6 p.m. in Jacksonville.
"While it is nice to get those honors, the guys know what is important," Morrow said. "Any one of these guys would trade in every single award for a conference tournament title and a NCAA berth, that's the real goal and that's what we are focuesd on."