Men’s Soccer: Huskies get three All-CAA nods

Men’s Soccer: Huskies get three All-CAA nods

By Matt Nielsen

After making the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and posting a school record six-game winning streak, the accolades poured in for the men’s soccer team Thursday night when the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) announced its all-conference teams.

Junior forward Greg Kilkenny, freshman midfielder Alexander Volk and freshman defender Lars Okland received all-CAA honors, reflecting the team’s success as much as their own individual accomplishments this season.

Volk and Okland were named to the all-CAA rookie team, and Kilkenny was named to the all-CAA second team.

Kilkenny and Volk tied for the team lead in goals (six), assists (five) and points (17), with Volk leading CAA rookies in all three categories.

“Alex and I really seemed to hit it off out there, especially toward the end of the season,” Kilkenny said.

Volk and Kilkenny first connected during the second game of the year, a 2-1 win over Maine, with Kilkenny assisting on Volk’s first collegiate goal. The pair combined on four more goals throughout the season, including two in the playoff-clinching game against Hofstra, the sixth and final game of the team’s winning streak. With both Kilkenny and Volk returning next season, along with junior forward Ahmed Talaat (5-2-12), the team won’t have to worry about finding enough offense.

“All three players have the talent to be first-teamers,” said head coach Brian Ainscough. “We knew Volk was an experienced player coming over here, but we didn’t know he would be so dominant offensively. Kilkenny could have been a first-teamer this year.”

Last season Kilkenny led the Huskies with five goals and 10 points in 18 games.

After playing the first half of the season in the Huskies’ midfield, Okland was moved to defenseman to shore up some depth issues at that position. Okland, along with the rest of the club, flourished. After giving up 18 goals in September (during which the team salvaged only one point, a tie against Rhode Island), the Huskies allowed just seven goals in October.

“We lost three 3-2 games at the end of September [and early October] and we knew we had to make a change,” Ainscough said. “It isn’t his favorite position, but he had a huge impact. Depending on recruiting and on the needs of the team, we’ll see where he plays next year.”

Freshman keeper Mahmoud Talaat also garnered All-CAA rookie team consideration. He started 17 games for the Huskies, allowing only 1.15 goals per game.

He had four shutouts on the season and made a career-high three saves in his first CAA start, a 3-2 loss at Towson Sept. 24. He made three saves to earn a 1-0 shutout in his collegiate debut Aug. 25 against Quinnipiac in the season opener.

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