Four Amherst Players Earn All-NESCAC Honors

Taylor Downs
Taylor Downs

AMHERST, MA – The NESCAC announced today the members of the 2007 Men’s Soccer All-Conference teams, with three members of the Amherst College squad earning First Team recognition and another earning Second Team honors. The Lord Jeffs advanced to the conference finals this past weekend and will host the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.

Representing the Amherst forwards are senior tri-captain Taylor Downs (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY) and junior Jake Duker (Newton, MA). Downs is in the midst of his best season with the Jeffs, tallying a career-high six goals to go along with four assists for a team-leading 16 points that currently places him in fourth in the conference. Downs was named the NESCAC Player of the Week in September for leading the Jeffs to a pair of shutout victories, as he scored a goal against Curry College before tallying a goal and two assists against Bates College.

Jake Duker
Jake Duker
Grayson Holland
Grayson Holland

Duker, Amherst’s other forward earning All-NESCAC recognition, was on his way to another stellar season for the Jeffs, but an injury has limited his action in recent weeks. In 12 games this season, he has scored six goals and added three assists for a total of 15 points, with four of his goals coming in game-winning fashion, including an overtime tally in a season-opening 2-1 win over Trinity College.

Senior tri-captain John Kneeland (Holden, MA) was named to the First Team and represents the Amherst midfielders. Kneeland has had a stellar senior season for the Jeffs, netting a career-high four goals and five assists to rank fourth among his teammates in scoring. He has also provided late-game heroics for Amherst, including a game-winning goal against Eastern Connecticut State University just one day after Duker helped his team topple Trinity. Kneeland’s goal came with just 75 seconds remaining in regulation and improved the Jeffs to 2-0.

John Kneeland
John Kneeland

Junior Grayson Holland (Sudbury, MA) represents the Jeffs’ defense on the First Team after he earned Second Team honors in 2006. Holland has been a dynamic defender for Amherst, tallying the first three goals of his career and recording seven points while supporting a defensive corps that trails only Middlebury statistically in goals against average (0.75) and shutouts (7).

2007 NESCAC Men’s Soccer All-Conference
Player of the Year: Nick Figueiredo, Bowdoin
Rookie of the Year: Ben Denton-Schneider, Bowdoin
Coach of the Year: Mike Pilger, Trinity

First Team
F - Taylor Downs (Amherst - Sr.)
F - Nick Figueiredo (Bowdoin - Sr.) *
F - Casey Ftorek (Middlebury - Sr.) *
M - Alex Elias (Middlebury - Sr.)
M - John Kneeland (Amherst - Sr.)
M - Greg O’Connell (Tufts - Sr.) ^
M - Ryan Pelletier (Williams - Sr.)
D - Brendan Egan (Bowdoin - Sr.) *
D - Andrew Germansky (Middlebury - Sr.)
D - Grayson Holland (Amherst - Jr.) ^
GK - Brian Bush (Middlebury - Jr.)

Second Team
F - Jake Duker (Amherst - Jr.)
F - Kit Fuderich (Williams - Sr.)
F - Jonathan Hayes (Trinity - Sr.)
F - Brent Morin (Bates - Sr.)
M - Alan Ashenfelter (Wesleyan - Jr.)
M - Sam Empson (Williams - Jr.)
M - Greg Genco (Connecticut College - So.)
D - Alex Bedig (Tufts - Sr.)
D - Nate Elwood (Williams - Sr.)
D - Justin Mello (Wesleyan - Sr.)
GK - Jamie Hiteshew (Wesleyan - Sr.)
* - 2006 All-Conference First Team ^ - 2006 All-Conference Second Team