OVU soccer squads honored at All-Conference banquet

Ohio Valley University’s Celso Riveros was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

VIENNA — As part of Wednesday’s Great Midwest Athletic Conference annual awards banquet, the Ohio Valley University men’s soccer program was well represented when the individual awards and All-Conference teams were announced.

Head coach Luis Rincon was voted the conference Coach of the Year. The turnaround that the OVU soccer program has experienced in the three years that Rincon has been at the helm has been well documented. After Saturday’s quarterfinal win over Walsh University, he now holds the program record for career wins.

“Knowing that it is the other coaches in the conference that vote on this award is very humbling,” said Rincon. “It is good anytime that you receive recognition from your peers for the hard work that you put in. My staff has done an outstanding job supporting me, and keeping the guys motivated all season-long. This is a result of three-years of hard work to build this program. I have been blessed with mentors who have showed me what it takes to build a nationally recognized program, and that is what I have strived to do here at Ohio Valley.

Junior forward Celso Riveros was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Riveros leads the Scots in goals scored with 11. That mark is tied for second-best in the conference. He also ranks top-10 in game winning goals. In addition to the individual award Riveros was named to the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team.

Senior goalkeeper Carlos Rubio was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Rubio has played every minute of every match in goal for Ohio Valley, and has been named the conference player of the week twice this season.

Ohio Valley University’s Konstantina Giannou was named the Great Midwest Athletic Conferene Offensive Player of the Year. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

Rubio also picked up a national player of the week honor in September. His goals against average of .407 and shutouts per game mark of .684 are best in the conference. He has recorded 13 clean sheets, which is best in the entire country. Like his teammate, Rubio was also named to the All-Conference First Team.

Joining Riveros and Rubio on the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team was sophomore midfielder Nicolas Rodriguez. He is third best on the team with 19 points (7 goals and 5 assists). He has been a strong presence for the Scots controlling movement of the ball in the middle of the pitch.

Five players: Guillermo Segovia, Javier Rodriguez, Jeremiah Yondah, Ignacio Diaz and Camilo Sarmiento all received Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team honors.

Segovia and Rodriguez are vital members of a Fighting Scots offensive attack that is averaging 2.6 goals per game, good enough for second-best in the entire conference.

Yondah serves a critical role from his centerback position, winning balls in the air and keeping things organized in the middle of the field. Sarmiento and Diaz are two key pieces of the defensive backline that have contributed mightily to the 13 shutouts. They have kept things clean for Rubio all year long as he has only been asked to make 44 saves in 19 matches.

“I am proud of each and every one of these guys,” said Rincon. “We play in a very competitive conference, and to have eight players receive these honors is outstanding. It’s very special for the guys like Carlos and Jeremiah who have been with the program for the past three years. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to the point we are at right now. These awards are great, but the season is not over for us. One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win the conference championship, we can take another step towards that tomorrow morning.”

The top-seeded Scots have a G-MAC semifinal matchup with the No. 5 seed Cedarville University at 11 a.m. today at the North Turf Athletic Field on the campus of Muskingum University.

VIENNA — Prior to the 2017 Great Midwest Women’s Soccer Championships resuming play today, the conference held a banquet Wednesday evening to honor the individual award winners and All-Conference selections.

Ohio Valley University head women’s soccer coach Luis Rincon was named the Great Midwest Coach of the Year. Additionally, four Fighting Scots were awarded individual awards and All-Conference Honors.

This was coach Rincon’s first year as the head coach of the women’s soccer program at OVU. He led the program to its first winning season, and capped it off with a regular season championship. He already holds the all-time wins record as a head coach for a career with 15 wins and counting. Under Coach Rincon the program saw their first regional and national rankings, three conference player of the week awards, and now four players selected to All-Conference honors.

“I am extremely humbled and honored,” said Rincon. “The credit goes to my players and my staff. It took a lot of heart and determination for our players to commit to this program because of the type of seasons we have had in the past. The trusted in my vision for the program, and made a commitment to changing the women’s soccer program. My staff has done an outstanding job of keeping the girls focused all season long, and instilling a winning mentality into our roster. We are proud of the regular season we put together, but we know the journey is not over yet,” Rincon finished.

Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to freshman forward Konstantina Giannou who was also selected to Great Midwest All-Conference First Team. Giannou led the conference in goals with 17 and ranks seventh in the nation as well. She also is second in the conference in total points with 38. In just her first year on campus, Giannou has already broken program records in goals scored in a single season and total points in a career at OVU.

Sophomore defender Ana Da Costa was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. Da Costa has played a key role in securing the 10 shut outs that the Fighting Scots have put together this season. Not only is Da Costa a defensive player but she has also been able to find the back of the net three times for the Scots. Much like her teammate, not only did Da Cost bring home Defensive Player of the Year, but she was also selected to the Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team.

Freshman midfielder Paula Valbuena was selected to the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team as well. Valbuena is tied for second on the team with 8 goals and leads the Fighting Scots with 7 assists which breaks the record for assist in both a single season and career at OVU.

Freshman midfielder Montserratt Grau (Santiago, Chile) was selected to Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team. Grau who serves at one of the two team captains, is a staple in the middle of the pitch for the Fighting Scots. Grau has recorded 1 goal and has assisted on 5 others this season.

“I am extremely proud of these girls, and the things they have been able to accomplish on the pitch this season,” said Rincon. “They have played a huge role in the success are team has had this year. It has been a total team effort for us each game, every member of this team is vital to our success. Tomorrow our journey continues. These awards are great, but we need to finish the season strong in order to accomplish all of the goals that we set at the beginning of the year,” Rincon finished.

OVU will look to continue its run at a 2017 G-MAC Championship as the top-seeded Fighting Scots will face No. 5 Ursuline at 2:30 p.m. today at the OVU Soccer Field.