2015 Men's Soccer Year in Review
December 15, 2015
Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic men’s soccer team finished the 2015 season with a 17-2-1 record, best in program history, and captured the school’s first-ever NCAA Division II South Region championship. The Sailfish unfortunately had it’s amazing run cut short in the NCAA Elite Eight to eventual National Champions Pfeiffer University.
“My main focus coming into the season was to really establish to the guys that I’m not trying to coach a team but rather establish a program,” said head coach Brian McMahon. “Once the guys realize and understand they have part ownership in the program it really takes the standard to another level.”
In just his second season with the ‘Fish, Coach Mac improved on last year’s NCCAA Final Four appearance with five more wins on the campaign, and earning the top-seed in the South Region, getting the opportunity to host the NCAA Regional tournament for the first time in the Palm Beach Atlantic University NCAA Division II era.
“I am so proud of our men’s soccer program for winning the PBA way,” said Athletic Director Carolyn Stone. “We have extraordinarily high standards for our student athletes which includes not only rigorous academic and athletic standards, but a sincere commitment to spiritual and character formation. Few programs in the country have the additional community service and chapel commitments our program requires and I am so pleased that our team meets and exceeds the mark in the classroom, community, and pitch. Coach McMahon’s focus is not just coaching a team, but building a program. He is in lock-step alignment with the mission and values of Sailfish Athletics.”
The 2015 campaign saw the Sailfish play a full Sunshine State Conference schedule for the first time in program history, and ended with a regular season record vs SSC schools of 8-1-1, including a road draw against No. 1 Lynn University, a blowout 8-0 road-win over Florida Southern, and also 2-1 short-handed win on the road over Saint Leo.
On the final win of the year, coach McMahon earned his 200th career coaching win when the 'Fish blewout Rollins College 6-1 to capture the NCAA South Region title.
Including pre-season, the Sailfish went 44 calendar days (16 games) in-between losses.The ‘Fish outscored their opponents 83-22 on the year, and held opponents scoreless on nine different occasions.
Seven Sailfish were named All-Americans, as four were named to the 2015 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-American team, and three were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America Team. The All-Americans were seniors Tom Gavin (NSCAA), Jermaine Metz (D2CCA), and Steeven Raymont (NSCAA). Also Juniors Michael O'Sullivan (D2CCA), and Lucas Coutinho (NSCAA and D2CCA)), and sophomore Lucas DaSilva (D2CCA).
The Sailfish also received honors in the classroom as well, as Metz and O'Sullivan were honored for their academics. Both men were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District team, and Metz was later honored with a selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team. Metz is the second Sailfish soccer player to earn the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team honor, following Kenny Hogg in 2012.
“I was happy to see some of our guys get recognized following season and it’s looking like some of our guys will have a chance moving on to the next level,” head coach Brian McMahon stated. “It’s really a credit to every guy in the program for their hard work and commitment making each other better.”
The Sailfish were ranked in the NSCAA Top-25 for ten consecutive national polls, including the final poll. The highest rank the ‘Fish earned during the season was No. 4, and they held that spot for five of the eleven polls on the year. The ‘Fish ended the post-season with a final national ranking of No. 5.
The Sailfish offense was quite impressive this year, as a team they finished first in the NCAA in goals per game (4.20), assists per game (3.55), points per game (11.95), total assists (71), and total points (239). The Sailfish offense also finished second in the NCAA in total goals with 84, just three shy of the top spot, and they finished second in shots on goal per game with 10.15, just 0.5 shots on goal per game shy of the NCAA lead.
All-American Lucas DaSilva had quite the season in 2015, as the West Palm Beach, Fla. native led the nation’s top offense in goals scored with 17 and total points with 41. DaSilva finished the year eighth in the country in goals scored, 10th in total points, 12th in goals per game, and 13th in points per game.
“This year was great as a team, we accomplished a lot and made history,” DaSilva said. “Even though we didn't meet our final goal, collectively we became a family. This year was just a marker of what we wanted to reach and we'll keep working for next year to get a national title.”
The other All-American Lucas on the club, Lucas Coutinho, had just as impressive of a season himself. The midfielder from Recife, Brazil finished with 14 assists on the year, leading the Sailfish, and finishing eighth in the country in the category. Coutinho finished third in assists per game, and 18th in points per game. Coutinho was the only member of the team to be named to both the D2CCA (second team) and the NSCAA (first team) All-America teams this season.
The senior midfielder out of Manchester, England, Jermaine Metz also finished in the top-30 in three individual categories on the season. The 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-American finished 26th in the nation in points per game, 39th in total goals, and 22nd in total points.
With all of the team and individual accolades, there is still one goal for the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish. With 18 players returning next season, including seven of the field players, that goal is to improve on this season, and capture the NCAA title.
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