Junior midfielder Topher Marshall and junior forward Ryan Marcano of the Oglethorpe men’s soccer team were both named to United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III Men’s All-America teams Thursday night, becoming the third and fourth players in the history of the program to earn All-America honors.
Marshall took home All-America Second Team accolades, marking just the second time in program history that a Stormy Petrel has earned Second Team accolades or higher, and Marcano garnered All-America Third Team honors. It serves as the first career All-America honor for both players.
Marshall garnered his second consecutive All-Region selection on Wednesday, and his first career All-Region First Team accolade. He also won his second consecutive SAA Offensive Player of the Year award this season, and was named to the All-SAA First Team for the third straight year. He finished the season atop the league leaderboard in a slew of categories, including goals (14), points (32), shots (73), game-winning goals (4, tied for first with teammate Gabriel Alvarez) and games played (21). He was outstanding in a 2-1 win over Berry on Oct. 20 that clinched his team’s third consecutive SAA regular season title, scoring a pair of goals to facilitate a second-half comeback en route to the victory. He also earned SAA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 16, tallying three goals and an assist in wins over Millsaps and Birmingham-Southern the week prior.
Marcano earned his first career All-Region honor on Wednesday after also taking All-SAA First Team accolades in his first year with the Petrels. He finished the season near the top of the SAA leaderboard in a large number of categories, including goals (second in the SAA with 12), points (second with 30), game-winning goals (tied for fourth with 3) and assists (tied for fifth with 6). He earned SAA Tournament MVP honors for his efforts in helping to earn the team’s second SAA title, scoring opening goals in both the championship game against Centre on Nov. 5 and the semifinal against Berry on Nov. 3. He also tallied a pair of assists in the Petrels’ 5-1 quarterfinal victory over Hendrix on Oct. 28. He earned SAA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 11 after scoring two goals and tallying an assist for five total points at the Seahawk Classic, helping his team to wins over St. Mary’s (Maryland) and Salisbury.
Both players were instrumental in the program’s most successful season ever. They finished the season on a program-high 15-game unbeaten streak, and came in with a 17-2-2 record, marking the best winning percentage in school history and tying for the most wins in school history with the 2011 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship team. This year’s team also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship, marking the farthest a Petrel men’s soccer team has ever advanced in the tournament.
“I’m ecstatic for both Topher and Ryan,” said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. “For coaches from around the country to recognize their on-field performance this season is a testament to their outstanding play over the course of the year. Being named to an All-America team is among the highest honors a collegiate soccer player can receive. Both of these guys are richly deserving of that honor, and they are two of the biggest reasons why we had the best season in program history.”
Marshall and Marcano were among 46 members of the three Division III men’s All-America teams, selected by coaches from around the nation. They joined former Petrels Mark Lavery and David Mueller as the only four members of the Oglethorpe men’s soccer team to ever earn All-America honors. Lavery earned All-America First Team honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the predecessor to the United Soccer Coaches, in 2011, and took All-America Second Team honors from D3soccer.com the same season. Mueller became the first Petrel to ever garner All-America honors when he was named to the All-America Third Team by the NSCAA in 2006.
The United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s All-America Teams were announced Thursday night at the awards banquet for the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, which are set to be decided this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the semifinals and finals of both the men’s and women’s events will be contested. This year’s All-America teams, along with their families and coaches, will be formally acknowledged for their accomplishments at the United Soccer Coaches All-America Luncheon on Jan. 20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia.