Greenwood, Ind. – Completing one of its finest seasons of the decade, ten members of the Transylvania men's soccer team were selected as Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason award recipients, the conference office announced on Thursday.
Junior midfielder Riley Calhoon, sophomore back Tyler Joy-Brandon, and senior forward Blake Chidester were all named to the All-HCAC first team. Transylvania was represented well on the All-HCAC second team, as freshman midfielder Caswell Fuller, freshman goalkeeper Drew Grisham, senior back Matt Melzer, and freshman forward Charlie Wend were all named to the team.
Also receiving great acclaim on Thursday was freshman back Jason Murillo, who was named the HCAC Freshman of the Year.
Chidester (Brentwood, Tenn. / Brentwood) finished the year in the top-two of the HCAC in individual goal-scoring, registering 11 goals on the year for the Pioneers. Chidester enjoyed three multi-goal games in 2016, along with three either game-winning or go-ahead goals.
Calhoon (Lexington, Ky. / Paul Laurence Dunbar) tallied four goals and eight assists for the Pioneers in 2016; his assist total ranked second among all HCAC men's soccer players while he led the conference in total shots with 59.
Joy-Brandon (Lexington, Ky. / Paul Laurence Dunbar) registered six points as a back for the Pioneers, including a thrilling game-winning goal against Hanover in a 1-0 regular season result on October 12; the loss was just one of two suffered by the Panthers in the HCAC regular season trek. Joy-Brandon also captured an HCAC Player of the Week award midway through the season for his all-around defensive prowess and omnipotent effect on the field in stretches.
Grisham (Mason, Ohio / Mason), one of two standout freshman goalkeepers for the Pioneers, took over at midseason and produced the best goals-against average of all HCAC goalkeepers with a 0.54 goals-against average per match. He also led the conference during regular season play in fewest goals against with four allowed.
Fuller (Mt. Sterling, Ky. / Montgomery Co.) registered six points in his first season with the Pioneers, including key setups in late-season victorires against Anderson and Bluffton.
Melzer (Florence, Ky. / Boone Co.) provided a steady dose of leadership and steadiness on the pitch for the Pioneers in his final run with Transylvania, as he impacted the pitch from front to back.
Wend (Hebron, Ky. / Conner) gave the Pioneers consistent showings of activity through the course of the season and was one of the top two goal-scorers for Transylvania with six on the year.
Shkraba (Mt. Sterling, Ky. / Montgomery Co.) captured a spot on the Honorable Mention list with a heroic year for the Pioneers, notching five goals and four assists to provide a consistent scoring punch. The freshman had the final goal of the season for the Pioneers in a 2-1 tournament loss to Hanover, collecting the score in a clutch moment. Shkraba also enjoyed a string in September of three straight matches with a goal.
In capturing the Freshman of the Year award, Murillo (Versailles, Ky. / Woodford Co.) had a season that was impossible to ignore, as he registered five goals and five assists for Transylvania, finishing third on the team in points. Highlights of Murillo's season included a two goal, two assist game against Muskingum on September 17, a go-ahead goal in a 2-0 win against Trine on September 9, and the go-ahead goal in a 3-0 win against Anderson on October 22.
Morgan (Knoxville, Tenn. / Christian Academy), Transylvania's representative on the All-Sportsmanship team wrapped up a junior season with three goals and aided in providing the Pioneers with veteran leadership throughout the course of the year.
The Pioneers went 12-2-3 in their 2016 regular season, its best season in four years and finished second in the HCAC, clinching a postseason berth.
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