Four Crusaders Receive All-Conference Recognition
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Four Crusaders Receive All-Conference Recognition

After completing its first season of competition in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team was well represented as The Valley unveiled its postseason awards and all-conference recognition on Thursday evening.

A quartet of Crusaders were honored by The Valley, led by junior midfielder Rafael Mentzingen (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Bryan), who was named to the all-conference first team. Senior Ramone Howell (Portmore, Jamaica / Jamaica College) and sophomore Adan Garcia (Dallas, Texas / Episcopal School of Dallas) were named to the second team, while freshman Jonas Engler (Illingen, Germany / Georg Kerschensteiner Scule) received all-conference honorable mention in his first season of collegiate competition.

Mentzingen shared the team lead with nine goals, which ranks tied for seventh in program history for goals in a single season. He totaled 57 shots and placed 25 on goal, both team watermarks. Mentzingen, who accumulated 19 points, scored a pair of game-winning goals, the only Crusader with multiple match-winners this season. The Valpo junior beat the entire Drake back line to score an impressive goal in the first round of the MVC Tournament, a play that led off the Scott Van Pelt Sports Center on ESPN that evening.

Garcia enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, scoring nine goals to share the team lead while also pacing the squad with 22 points, both of which rank seventh in single-season program history. He became just the second Valpo player since the start of the 2002 season to accumulate 20 points in a year. Garcia turned in the ninth hat trick in program history in a 5-2 win over Western Illinois, Valpo’s first hat trick in a road match since 1985.

Howell was the anchor of the midfield as a senior captain. The 2017 MVC Preseason All-Conference selection has been a fixture over the last four seasons, competing in 67 career matches, notching seven goals and accumulating seven assists in his career.

Engler registered three goals, three assists and nine points as a freshman this season. He became the first Valpo freshman with three goals since 2014 and finished with the most points of any Crusader rookie since 2012.

The Crusaders, who graduate just two starters, will have the bulk of their team intact as they return for their second season in The Valley in 2018. Valpo scored 30 goals this season, just the second time they’ve reached that number since 1990.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Niklas Brodacki, Central Arkansas

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Niklas Brodacki, Central Arkansas

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Nick Burtenshaw, Missouri State

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR: Liam Priestley, Missouri State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Younes Dayekh, Bradley



Men’s Soccer 1st Team

Liam Priestley                    Sr.           GK          Missouri State

Simon Waever                  So.          D             Evansville

Grant Stoneman               Jr.           D             Loyola

Nick Burtenshaw              Sr.           D             Missouri State

Niklas Brodacki                  So.          F              Central Arkansas

Conor Ingram                     Jr.           F              Missouri State

Pepe San Roman              Sr.           M            Central Arkansas

Ian McGrath                       Sr.           M            Evansville

Elliot Collier                        Sr.           M            Loyola

Kyle Thomson                    Sr.           M            Loyola

Rafael Mentzingen          Jr.           M            Valparaiso

Men’s Soccer 2nd Team

Brandon Barnes                Gr.          GK          Bradley

Jacob Taylor                       Sr.           D             Bradley

Mason Leonard                 Sr.           D             Drake

Ben Stroud                          So.          D             Missouri State

Adan Garcia                        So.          F              Valparaiso

Donald Benamna             Jr.           F              Central Arkansas

Fabian Lifka                        Jr.           M            Loyola

Ramone Howell                Sr.           M            Valparaiso

Frank Bak                            Jr.           M            Bradley

Younes Dayekh                 Fr.           M            Bradley

Chris Holmes                      Jr.           M            Central Arkansas

Men’s Soccer Honorable Mention

Jake Laird                             Jr.           M            Missouri State

Jordy Robins                       Sr.           M            Missouri State

Leroy Ensuguzi                  Fr.           F              Drake

Zac Blaydes                         Jr.           M            Evansville

Daltyn Knutson                 Jr.           M            Central Arkansas

Gerit Wintermeyer          Fr.           F              Bradley

Jake Taylor                          Gr.          D             Drake

Jesse Stafford-Lacey       So.          M            Evansville

Josh Dolling                         Fr.           F              Missouri State

Aidan Megally                   So.          M            Loyola

Chris Shuck                         Sr.           D             Evansville

Jonas Engler                       Fr.           D             Valparaiso

Marc Olsen                         So.          GK          Central Arkansas

Roman Schindler              So.          F              Bradley

Stuart Wilkin                      So.          M            Missouri State