BETHANY, Okla. – On Thursday, the GAC/MIAA announced its 2023 Men’s Soccer superlative awards, released the all-conference teams and named its Conway Regional Health System Scholar Athlete recipients. Southern Nazarene’s Alvaro Sanchez and Trevor Harmon claimed the Defensive Player and Coach of the Year awards, respectively, by unanimous consent. The Crimson Storm’s Unaiz Shajani earned Offensive Player of the Year and Francisco Chong won Newcomer of the Year. Rogers State’s Luke Morgan captured Midfielder of the Year and the Hillcats’ Trindon Turner received the Elite Scholar Athlete Award, Presented by Conway Regional Health System.
Sanchez repeated as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. The Crimson Storm ranked second in the conference with six shutouts. He added four goals, including a game winner against Rogers State on October 12. Harmon collected the third Coach of the Year accolade of his career. The Crimson Storm won their third-straight regular-season title and enter the conference tournament ranked 10th in the NCAA Division II Super Region #3 rankings.
Shajani tied for the league lead with 12 goals and 30 points. He registered three multi-goal games and he came up with four game-winning tallies. In his first season with the Crimson Storm, Chong slotted in as a starting midfielder. He scored a goal against Ouachita Baptist on October 7 and added an assist against Harding on October 28.
Morgan ranked second in the conference with seven assists. His 13 points placed fourth on the Hillcats. Turner owns a 4.00 GPA in Business Administration.
Shajani’s teammate Bruno Ferreira made the First Team at the forward position alongside Fort Hays State’s Blake Arndt and Rogers State’s Marcos Vasallo. Ferreira matched Shajani with 30 points for the conference lead. He scored 10 goals and added a league-leading 10 assists. Arndt tallied 10 goals and 23 points. Vasallo tied Shajani for the league lead in goals, with 12.
Northeastern State’s Davi Dornelles and Fort Hays State’s Tadhg Walsh joined Morgan and Chong as the All-GAC/MIAA First-Team midfielders. Dornelles’ nine points - two goals, five assists - rank second on the team; Walsh started all 17 Tiger matches and put up four goals and three assists. He scored the game-winning goal against Newman on September 21.
The Crimson Storm placed two as All-GAC/MIAA First-Team Defenders in Sanchez and Miguel Torrecillas. Fort Hays State’s Callum Frogson and Rogers State’s Sebastian Hernandez also made the First Team while Northeastern State’s Ian Milla claimed the First-Team goalkeeper honor. Hernandez became a two-time First-Team honoree while Frogson made the First-Team for the first time after making the Honorable Mention team in 2022. Milla led GAC/MIAA goalkeepers with a 0.77 goals-against average, eight shutouts and a .833 save percentage.
Turner headlined the All-GAC Second Team. Three of his teammates - Artur Carvalho, Grant King and Declan Viljoen - made the Second Team in addition to Fort Hays State’s Agustin Ayala, Elias Ovelar Semeniuk and Chris Rios-Cruz; Newman’s Carlos Bellosta Manchon, Felix Ramirez and Alberto Romano; Southern Nazarene’s Esteban Ramirez and Rinta Takagi as well as Ouachita Baptist’s Ebon Jordan.
The All-GAC Honorable Mention Team consisted of Northeastern State’s Donovan Aparicio, Marcovich Brown and Ben Mings; Rogers State’s Hugo Martin George Robinson and Matthew Sweetman; Fort Hays State’s Ben Dixon and Inigo Jimenez, Southern Nazarene’s Andrej Krivokapic and Augustine Seaver plus Ouachita Baptist’s Daniel Marcano.
A total of seven student-athletes earned the Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award - Presented by Conway Regional Health System - in Rogers State’s Blake Classen, Sebastian Hernandez, Grant King and Robinson; Fort Hays State’s Scott Pengelly and John Alexander Plimmer plus Southern Nazarene’s Jedidiah Huibregtse.