A pair of Valparaiso University men’s soccer players were honored by the Missouri Valley Conference on Wednesday for their excellence on the field and in the classroom during the 2018 season.
Redshirt junior defender Dylan Waugaman (Houston, Texas / Friendswood [Oregon State]) and senior forward Rafael Mentzingen (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / Bryan) were named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team.
Waugaman, also a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection for District 5, owns a perfect 4.0 grade point average in accounting. He made 14 starts as part of a Valpo defense that permitted just 21 goals this season, a mark that ranked tied for eighth in program history for fewest goals allowed in a single season. He helped the team rack up six shutouts.
Mentzingen, also a 2018 MVC first-team all-conference selection, totaled six points this season to rank second on the team and led the conference with 3.53 shots per game during the regular season. Mentzingen was featured as part of the MVC’s Scholar-Athlete Spotlight on Sept. 19 and was named to the All-Tournament Team for his play at the University of Wisconsin over Labor Day Weekend in a pair of matches against Big Ten teams. Mentzingen owns a 3.87 cumulative grade point average in economics with a minor in theology.
Valpo finished the season at 5-8-4 after rebounding from a tough midseason stretch with a six-game unbeaten streak to close out the regular season, the longest season-ending unbeaten streak in program history. Valpo rounded out the regular season with just one conference setback, the fourth time in program history the team has achieved that feat.
The team placed third in the MVC regular season standings, the highest finish by Valpo in any sport since the University joined the Missouri Valley Conference in July 2017. The third-place finish also marked the program’s best regular season finish since 2011, when Valpo won the Horizon League regular season title.
The Valley's scholar-athlete team, which recognizes 13 first-team selections, is voted on by the league's soccer sports information directors.
The criteria for the all-MVC honor parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be starters or important reserves with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale). Also, students must have participated in at least 75 percent of the regular-season matches or played in the league tournament. Student-athletes must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution (true freshmen and redshirt freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at their institution.
MVC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE FIRST TEAM
Paul Ciszewski, Drake Gr. 3.85 Masters of Business Administration Germantown, Wis.
Michael Creek, Missouri State So. 3.99 Accounting St. Louis, Mo.
Younes Dayekh, Bradley So. 3.82 Communications Brentwood, Calif.
Steven Enna, Drake% Gr. 3.84 Masters of Business Administration Overland Park, Kan.
Kyle Hiebert, Missouri State* Jr. 4.00 Accounting La Salle, Manitoba
Chris Holmes, Central Arkansas*% Sr. 4.00 Health Services Administration Conway, Ark.
Marius Kullmann, Loyola Jr. 3.95 International Business Fulda, Germany
Daltyn Knutson, Central Arkansas*Sr. 3.95 Finance Spring, Texas
Rafael Mentzingen, Valparaiso Sr. 3.87 Economics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Marc Olsen, Central Arkansas Jr. 3.95 Exercise Science Copenhagen, Denmark
John Pollifrone, Bradley Jr. 3.50 Criminal Justice Fort Wayne, Ind.
Simon Waever, Evansville* Jr. 4.00 Management Holte, Denmark
Dylan Waugaman, Valparaiso Jr. 4.00 Accounting Houston, Texas
*First Team in 2017; %Honorable Mention in 2016
MVC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE HONORABLE MENTION
Niklas Brodacki, Central Arkansas Jr. 3.24 Marketing Norrkoping, Sweden
Alex Ciaramitaro, Bradley Sr. 3.21 Mechanical Engineering St. Peters, Mo.
Fabian Lifka, Loyola Sr. 3.43 International Business & Marketing Kelkheim, Germany
Jesse Stafford-Lacey, Evansville Jr. 3.79 Sport Communication Banna, Ireland