Five Penn State Men's Soccer Players Honored by Big Ten
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Nov. 13, 2003) - Five Penn State men's soccer players were recognized for their play on the field as the Big Ten Conference released its All-Big Ten First and Second Teams and its inaugural All-Freshman team Thursday at the Big Ten Soccer Championship in Bloomington, Ind.
Sophomore Brian Devlin (Philadelphia, Pa.) received his first-ever conference honors by being named to the All-Big Ten first team as a midfielder. Devlin followed up a stellar freshman season by recording career highs in goals (4), assists (5) and points (13). His 13 points was tied for second on the team in scoring this season.
Along with Devlin, four Penn State freshmen were selected to the conference's inaugural All-Big Ten Freshman Team.Simon Omekanda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) was selected as a forward, Jeff Chambers (Christiana, Pa.) was selected as a midfielder, Markku Viitanen (Pirkkala, Finland) was selected as a defenseman and Matt Novchich (Asheville, N.C.) was selected as a goalkeeper. The freshman class entered Penn State as Soccer America's eighth-best class in the country. Omekanda finished the regular season tied for third on the team in scoring with three goals, seven assists and 13 points. He was also named to the College Soccer News and Soccer America National Teams-of-the-Week after being named the Ohio State Classic MVP on Sept. 7th.
Chambers recorded one assist during the regular season from the midfield position. He started his first collegiate game in the Nittany Lions' season opener against No. 1 UCLA and he also assisted on the game-winning goal in Penn State's 2-1 victory over Michigan State in Thursday's Big Ten Championship first-round match in Bloomington, Ind.
Viitanen had two goals on the season while playing defense. He has helped to solidify a young Penn State defense that struggled early in the season. Novchich started all but three games for the Nittany Lions. He recorded two shutouts and all eight victories. He made five saves in Penn State's victory over the Spartans on Thursday.
No. 6 Penn State will take on No. 7 Northwestern, which upset No. 2 Michigan 2-1 in a Big Ten Championship first-round game, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
For more information on Penn State men's soccer, please visit Penn State's official athletic website at GoPsuSports.com
Athlete of the Year: Knox Cameron, MICH
Coach of the Year: JERRY YEAGLEY, IND
Freshman of the Year: *Jed Zayner, IND
*Gerardo Alvarez, NU
UNANIMOUS SELECTIONS IN ALL CAPS