Lord Jeffs Receive NSCAA Regional and National Awards; Team Finishes with Highest GPA in Nation

NCAA Banquet
The 2008 Amherst men's soccer team was the most successful in program
history, and had the nation's highest GPA for any team across all divisions.

AMHERST, MA – Amherst seniors Grayson Holland (Sudbury, MA), Jake Duker (Newton, MA) and Nick Lynch (Kingston, Jamaica) will graduate this spring after leading the Lord Jeff men’s soccer team most decorated season in the program history with a trio of NSCAA season-end awards as icing on the cake. The three were each named to one of the organization’s All-Region awards, with Holland grabbing his second straight All-American honors as well.

This marks the second straight season that all three have been recognized on the NSCAA/adidas All-New England teams, with Holland landing on the First Team, Duker on the Third Team, and Lynch on the Fourth Team. Holland was a repeat selection to the All-America Third Team this season as well. Both Holland and Duker were named to the NESCAC’s First Team in 2008.

The Lord Jeffs went 15-4-3 this season, after starting the year 5-3. Amherst rattled off an amazing 10-0-3 run that included the program’s first NESCAC Championship and a trip to the 2008 Final Four. The Jeffs fell to Stevens Institute of Technology in the national semifinal, matching the program’s previous best finish of 1997.

Holland was one of the leaders for a strong defensive unit that took an amazing seven-game shutout streak into the Final Four, before Stevens Tech scored in the semifinal match. During Amherst’s 13-game unbeaten streak, Holland and the defense allowed just six goals.

Duker and Lynch helped provide Amherst with the foundation for the NESCAC’s most potent offense in 2008 (2.38 goals-per-game). Duker was the conference’s scoring leader at season’s end with 16 goals and three assists for 35 points, while Lynch’s 10 assists were a conference best. Duker also graduates as the Lord Jeffs’ unofficial goals (44) and points (110) career record holder, with this season’s mark as a single-season record.

Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of these senior leaders and their classmates is the impact off the field they have made on their teammates. The men’s soccer team placed a conference-best nine players on the 2008 NESCAC All-Academic Team, and with a team G.P.A. of 3.48, tied Case Western Reserve University for the highest mark of any men’s soccer team in the NCAA’s Division I, II or III.

Head coach Justin Serpone shares that “it is refreshing to have a group of players that really understand what being a student-athlete is all about.” Serpone adds that while he is “so proud of our team for making it to the Final Four, [he] is most happy about their accomplishments academically. Being good on the field is never an excuse for letting down in the classroom, and our guys showed that you can do both.”

Amherst’s class of 2009 will surely be missed upon graduation this spring, but Serpone can rest happy knowing that Holland, Duker, Lynch and their classmates have made a lasting mark on the program both on, and off, the playing field.