DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
FOR AGRIMSON AS NIU SENIOR NAMED FIRST-TEAM ALL-MAC FOR SECOND TIME
Illinois University's Peter Agrimson (Stillwater, MN) takes a reserved
approach to his role, opting to let his actions speak louder than words.
But the Huskie co-captain has plenty of people who can talk about his
accomplishments---including Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick
Chryst, who named Agrimson to the First-Team All-MAC men's soccer squad
for the second consecutive season.
Agrimson is one of
only four repeat selections on the league's elite list, and the senior
defender was joined by a pair of teammates among those receiving postseason
recognition from the league's coaches. Senior midfielder Rasih Pala
(Markham, Ontario / Markham District) and sophomore forward Bernhard
Hagevik (Oslo, Norway / Wang Academy) gained Second-Team All-MAC status.
the Huskie defense, serving as veteran leader for the young backline in
front of freshman goalkeeper Steve Goletz (Downers Grove / South). Agrimson's
efforts paced NIU to a 1.99 goals-against-average with a pair of shutouts,
and the senior also was fourth on the team in scoring with four points,
collecting unassisted goals against MAC foes Bowling Green St. University
(Oct. 4) and the University of Akron (Oct. 13).
the caliber of player that Peter is, so he is definitely deserving of
this honor," Northern Illinois coach Willy Roy said. "I'm happy
for him to get this recognition as a First-Team player for the second
year in a row. Peter has done a lot in his four years at Northern Illinois."
The Stillwater, MN,
native started all 72 matches played by Northern Illinois
during the last four seasons, earning First-Team All-Midwest Region acclaim
from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 1999.
starting goalkeeper since his freshman campaign in 1999---opened eight
of the first nine matches in net this fall before shifting into the midfield
to bolster the NIU attack. In that limited time, the Canadian national,
the only other Northern Illinois player to start all 18 contests this
season, tallied three goals and set up two others. His eight points were
second only to Hagevik's 13-point (six goals, one assist) total. Hagevik
became the 21st player in Northern Illinois annals to register a hat trick
when he hit the net three times at Marshall University on Oct. 25. That
marked the 32nd three-goal outing in the program's 40-year history.
"Rasih made the
sacrifice in moving from goalkeeper into the midfield. In just a few games,
he made a big contribution," Roy said. "I'm glad the coaches
realized his twofold talent and recognized him in this manner. It's a
good way for Rasih to end his career.
slowly but at the end of the season he scored some nice goals in conference
play," the Huskie boss added. "I'm hoping we can get him started
a little earlier next year, and this should provide the motivation to
move up to First-Team All-MAC."
Akron placed three players on the First-Team All-MAC unit, including Newcomer
of the Year Kirk Harwat. The junior forward joined midfielder Alex Odwell
and Mike Marich as First-Team honorees, along with Bowling Green St. goalkeeper
David DeGraff and University of Kentucky forward Jamal Shteiwi.
Joining Agrimson as
repeat First-Teamers were University of Buffalo midfielder Mike Peplinski
and Kentucky midfielder Nathan Fleetwood plus Marshall University forward
Byron Carmichael, who was named the league's Player of the Year after
leading the league in scoring with 15 goals and 32 points this fall. Western
Michigan University midfielder Scott Duhl and Bowling Green St. defender
Matt Leardini rounded out the top team.
BGSU's Mel Mahler
took home Coach of the Year honors after leading the Falcons to a share
of the regular-season title and top seed in the MAC tournament. Bowling
Green St. opened the season with eight consecutive losses before regrouping
for a 4-1-0 league ledger and advancing to the MAC tournament championship
Agrimson and Pala
completed their eligibility in 2002 but Roy has eight starters returning
next fall, hoping to improve upon the Huskies' 4-13-1 overall finish.
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