Five Jeffs Named to All-NESCAC Team; Spencer Noon '13 Tabbed Player of the Year
Contact: Justin Long
Spencer Noon '13 is the first Lord Jeff to be named NESCAC
Men's Soccer Player of the Year in the award's 12-year history.
AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College placed five student-athletes on the 2011 NESCAC Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team today, while forward Spencer Noon ’13 (Farmington, Conn.) was named the NESCAC Player of the Year.
Joining Noon on the First Team are midfielder Thebe Tsatsimpe ’12 (Johannesburg, S. Africa) and defender Chris Lerner ’13 (Canton, Mass.). Representing the Lord Jeffs on the Second Team are forwards Jae Heo ’14 (Changwon, S. Korea) and Alejandro Sucre ’13 (Caracas, Venezuela).
An All-NESCAC Second Team selection in 2010, Noon is the first Lord Jeff to be named the conference’s Player of the Year in the award’s 12-year history. With a league-high 14 goals and four assists on the season, he is leading the NESCAC in points (28) for the second consecutive year.
Noon has recorded a goal in 10 of Amherst’s 17 games this season, notably scoring in eight of nine matches during a dominant one-month stretch. He accounted for the lone goal in conference wins at Hamilton and Trinity, as he picked up at least one point in seven of the Jeffs’ 10 conference matches. Noon’s success carried over into the conference tournament, where he notched a pair of goals against Colby and added another in the finals.
Jake Duker ’09 holds program records for goals (34) and points (82) in a career, but Noon is approaching both of those marks. The junior forward has already totaled 32 goals and 12 assists for 76 points, having recorded 21 points as a first-year (8-5-21) and 27 as a sophomore (12-3-27).
Jae Heo '14 (Second Team)
Alejandro Sucre '13 (Second Team)
Thebe Tsatsimpe '12 (First Team)
Chris Lerner '13 (First Team)
Joining Noon up front this season have been Heo and Sucre, who each landed on the Second Team for their first postseason honors. Heo ranks fourth in the NESCAC in goals (7) and fifth in points (17), with four of his markers holding up as game winners. He is the only sophomore to earn All-NESCAC recognition this year.
Heo stormed out of the gate by scoring a goal in six of his first nine games, earning him a Player of the Week selection on Sept. 19. He scored in three consecutive matches in October, notably putting Amherst on the board at Williams en route to a come-from-behind tie. As a first-year in 2008, Heo recorded 28 points (12-4-28) and was dominant during the team’s NCAA Tournament run.
Playing in only three games as a first-year with the Jeffs, Sucre recorded 12 points (5-2-12) as a sophomore and is now one of the most significant contributors to Amherst’s offense. With five goals and three assists this season, he ranks eighth in the NESCAC with 13 points. Sucre had a hand in both goals during a 2-1 double-overtime win at Bridgewater State, adding a goal in NESCAC victories over Tufts and Bowdoin.
Much of the Amherst offense is filtered through Sucre, who serves as the primary target when the Jeffs are looking to send the ball into the box. His tireless work ethic doesn’t always show up in the box score, but he wins countless headers and 50-50 balls that pave the way for players like Noon and Heo.
Tsatsimpe has been a key contributor to Amherst’s midfield since his first season in 2007. He has recorded 11 assists as a Lord Jeff, and this year he ranks fourth among NESCAC players in the category with a career-best four helpers.
An effective two-way midfielder, Tsatsimpe has tremendous control with the ball and has handled the bulk of Amherst's corner kicks. He has helped the Lord Jeffs average a league-best 2.41 goals per game, also contributing to a defense that has surrendered only 11 goals on the year. Two of his assists came in one-goal wins, including during a 1-0 victory at Trinity.
Representing Amherst’s defense as an All-NESCAC First Team selection is Lerner, who has started in each of the team’s past 36 games. Lerner is one of several standout defenders who have helped the Lord Jeffs post a league-best 10 shutouts this season, as Amherst’s stingy defense is allowing the opposition to average fewer than 10 shots per game.
In addition to playing exceptional 1-on-1 defense, Lerner currently leads the NESCAC with six assists. From playing defense to handling throw-ins and free kicks, he has contributed to Amherst’s success from end line to end line. His NESCAC Championship could not have been much better, as he recorded at least one assist in each game—four in all—while helping the Jeffs surrender only one goal in three games.
No Amherst team had ever placed more than four players on the All-NESCAC Team prior to this year, while the 2011 Lord Jeffs join the 2007 squad as the only two to feature three First Team honorees. Taking home Rookie of the Year honors is Tufts University’s Gus Santos ’15 (7-6-20), while Trinity’s Mike Pilger was named Coach of the Year for leading the Bantams to the conference finals after they missed the postseason altogether in 2010.
Amherst will begin its quest for a national title this Saturday by hosting Husson University in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round. One more victory for the Jeffs would tie the program record for wins in a season (15), which is held by the 2007 and 2008 squads.