For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas City, Mo. – Junior Juwan Kearson (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School) and sophomore Khalid Balogun (Bowie, Md./Bowie) each gained a spot on the 2017 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-South Atlantic Region Teams as announced by the organization Tuesday night. Kearson garnered a first team nod while Balogun earned a spot on the second team.
Kearson becomes the first Seahawk since 2003 to land on the first team following in the footsteps of St. Mary's Athletic Hall of Famers Ryan Olsen '02, Alun Oliver '04, and Brian Wolcott '05. Olsen, the program's all-time scoring leader, picked up first team honors in 2001 while Oliver, the current Seahawk head coach, and Wolcott were both first-teamers in 2003.
Kearson and Balogun are both now two-time All-South Atlantic Region selections as Kearson picked up a second-team award last season and Balogun was on the third team as a first-year. To date, the St. Mary's men's soccer program has picked up 19 all-region awards by 10 different players.
Kearson was an absolute workhorse for the Seahawks this season, earning his second straight first-team All-Capital Athletic Conference nod and third overall All-CAC award. The 5-8 midfielder led the team with seven goals, 18 points, and four game-winning goals (61st in Division III) while dishing out a second-best four assists. In the CAC, he ranks tied for second in game-winning goals, tied for fifth in goals, tied for seventh in points, and tied for ninth in assists.
Kearson picked up CAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 23 after scoring once in each game in a 2-0 week for the Seahawks. He netted the insurance goal in a 2-0 upset win over No. 16 University of Mary Washington, before notching the game-winner in a 2-0 victory against Wesley College. Kearson also picked up St. Mary's Athlete of the Month honors for October.
Though his sophomore numbers didn't quite match his rookie totals, Balogun was still a force to be reckoned with as he gave defenses a fit every game and diverted their attention. The 2016 CAC Rookie of the Year collected his second straight first-team All-CAC award, proving his effectiveness on the field. He finished second on the team with four assists and sixth with six points.
Balogun currently ranks tied for ninth in the CAC in assists. The 6-4 forward dished a career-best two assists in a 2-0 win over No. 16 University of Mary Washington on Oct. 18.
The Seahawks finished the 2017 campaign as the No. 2 seed in the CAC Tournament for just the third time in program history. St. Mary's posted an 11-7 overall record, including a program-best seven league wins, for its second straight 10-win season and third in the last four years. After earning a first-round bye, the Seahawks dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to third-seeded Mary Washington in the semifinals of the CAC Tournament.
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