NAHSVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb men’s soccer program continues to prove its excellence as one of the top programs in the country by placing a school-record three players on the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-Southeast Region team.
Standouts Joe Kerridge, Ivan Alvarado and Logan Paynter all earned spots on the second team, marking the fourth straight season that Lipscomb has earned all-region honors.
“I am really happy for all three of these guys, but without the year we had and the collective involvement from the entire squad, we don’t get all of them in,” Morrow said. “It really says a lot about our program that we have built a tradition of getting guys on the all-region teams the last few years. It only helps our program and our recruiting that if you come here and do well, you’re going to get recognized.”
Kerridge played in and started 13 games for Lipscomb this season where he helped one of the league’s top backlines post six shutouts, the second most in the ASUN. The junior earned First Team All-Conference honors for his efforts.
After not recording a point through the first nine matches, the Golden, Colorado native closed the season on a tear. He was credited with an assist in the win over NJIT before coming back to score his first career goal against FGCU in the regular season finale. He continued his torrid pace with another goal in a 3-0 blowout of Stetson in the opening round of the conference tournament.
He finished as one of five players with multiple goals for the Bisons in 2016.
“Joe has had a good three years with us here and it’s great that he is starting to get the recognition he deserves,” Morrow said. “It was really exciting for us to see just how well he played down the stretch and it should provide a lot of motivation for him next year. There wasn’t an outside back in the region that was playing as well as he was at season’s end. We are really happy for him.”
After becoming the first Bison to ever earn three First Team All-ASUN selections, Alvarado is now the first player in program history to earn multiple all-region honors.
The junior out of Fort Worth, Texas worked through a season that began and ended with injury. After missing the first couple games of the season, Alvarado returned to start 11 matches before having his campaign come to a crashing halt in the ASUN semifinals against FGCU when he went down with another injury.
Even with everything that surrounded him, Alvarado was still able to finish fourth on the squad with six points on one goal and four assists. He has led the Bisons in helpers in all three of his years in Nashville.
Alvarado is the ASUN’s active career leader with 16 assists – no other player has more than nine. The midfielder also ranks second in career points (34) and eighth in goals (9).
“It’s good to see Ivan get recognized again,” Morrow said. “Like Joe, he was really catching form at the end of the season, so that is what makes his injury in the tournament that much more unfortunate.
“While his numbers weren’t as good as they have been, the coaches in the region know the type of player he is and that he can do things with the ball that most others can’t. We are looking forward to him healing up and having a big senior year because the best is yet to come from Ivan.”
Coming off a spectacular freshman season, Paynter blew past the expectations and led the Bisons offensive attack for a second straight season, landing him First Team All-Conference honors in as many seasons.
Paynter finished third in the ASUN after surpassing his totals from last season with 11 goals and 26 points – both are the second most in a single-season in program history. He also tied Alvarado for the team lead in assists with four. His 1.44 points per game was good enough for 21st in the nation.
The sophomore forward started 17 games and played the fourth most minutes for Lipscomb. The Bradenton, Florida native paced the team in shots (40) and shots on goal (28).
Paynter recorded a point in 10 matches and tallied multi-goal games against Western Illinois and USC Upstate.
In only two seasons the sophomore already ranks third on the program’s all-time scoring chart with 17. He is second on the ASUN’s active career leaders chart in goals and points (37).
Paynter also landed a spot on the All-Academic Team with a 3.78 GPA in Corporate Marketing.
“What an unbelievable story Logan has been. For him to come in as a freshman, get redshirted and be at the bottom quarter of our roster, it is really something special to see him gain the confidence and continue to develop as quickly as he has,” Morrow said. “The one thing about him is he understands better than anyone the attitude and work that has to go in to improving and he has exceeded all expectations, but he is still hungry for more and the ceiling is just the limit for him.”
The Bisons finished the season 10-6-2 and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the eighth time in the last 10 years – light years ahead of where the program was before Morrow took the reins.
“While there is pride in seeing how far this program has come since I took over when we were dead last in the country in RPI to where we are now, the real joy is getting to work with these guys every day and helping them accomplish their goals and dreams,” Morrow said.
With their three selections the Bisons have now had eight players named NSCAA all-region in their history – seven of the eight have come in the last four seasons.
Lipscomb All-Region Honorees
2016: Joe Kerridge, Ivan Alvarado, Logan Paynter
2015: Ivan Alvarado
2013: Omar Djabi
2010: Miguel DaSilva