ATLANTA (Nov. 5, 2018) - The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) has announced the 2018 All-SAA Men's Soccer awards. The award winners were selected by the league's head men's soccer coaches and conference staff.
Alexander Garuba of Centre won the league's Offensive Player of the Year. Galen Curry of Birmingham-Southern was named the SAA Defensive Player of the Year while Oglethorpe freshman Angel Guevara captured the league's SAA Newcomer of the Year honor. Finally, after leading OU to an undefeated conference regular season record and wins over multiple teams ranked teams, Jon Akin was named the SAA Coach of the Year for the second straight year.
Along with leading Centre to the 2018 SAA Tournament Championship, Garuba was the top offensive player this season. The Centre forward led the league in goals with 19. He also added four assists for a league-best 42 points. A constant to make an offensive impact on the pitch, Garuba led the SAA in shots with 92. He also netted a league-best five game-winning goals.
Finally, Garuba scored more in a single game this season when he netted four goals against Hendrix on October 7th.
In goal, Curry was outstanding for Birmingham-Southern. The Panther keeper started 13 of 14 matches and tallied over 1256:45 minutes in net. He led the SAA in saves with 95 while ranking third in save percentage with an .841 mark. With a 1.29 goals against average, Curry led BSC to eight wins and one tie. He also posted three shutouts.
In his first season of collegiate soccer, Guevara played well for OU. The freshman forward ranked 15th in the SAA in goals (4). He also finished 22nd in points (9) and 24th in shots (23).
Finally, Akin led OU to a high regional ranking another undefeated SAA regular season. Oglethorpe who is likely to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after posting a 13-2-1 record. Along with their SAA wins, the Stormy Petrels defeated non-conference powers Washington University and Emory. The lone two losses for OU were against nationally-ranked members Washington & Lee and Mary-Hardin Baylor by a single goal.
In conference action, Oglethorpe ranked in the top-three in 11 categories. The Stormy Petrels led the conference in shots (143), shots per game (20.4), shots on goal (82), and corners (50). OU ranked second in goals scored, assists, and shutouts.