Twice a week this summer, Atlantic10.com will feature a sport-by-sport look back at the 2014-15 season and championships. Check back each week for a review of each sport. Today's look back: Men's Soccer.
Sixth-seeded Fordham used a defensive effort that did not allow a shot on goal as it upended top-seeded Rhode Island, 1-0 to capture the 2014 Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Soccer Championship at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va.
The championship is Fordham’s second A-10 title in men’s soccer and the first since 1996. The Rams became the third six-seed to win the championship in the past five years.
Fordham keeper Sean Brailey was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player after anchoring a Ram defense that allowed one goal over three games. Brailey notched two shutouts, making 13 saves in the process.
Saint Louis’ Anthony Manning was named the Atlantic 10 Men’s Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while his teammates Robert Kristo and David Graydon were named Offensive Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year, respectively.
Rhode Island’s Nils Leifhelm was tabbed as Rookie of the Year, while Rhody’s Gareth Elliott was named Coach of the Year. Saint Louis joined Fordham in the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship, with the Bills earning a victory over Tulsa in the first round of action. Following the season, Kristo and Timi Mulgrew of George Mason garnered All-American honors.
Elliott led the Rams to a historic turnaround during the regular season. URI went 7-1-0 for 21 points in league play to finish in first place, just a season removed from finishing winless against conference foes. The Rams are just the second team in league history to go from the bottom of the standings one year, to first place the next season. URI is the first program to finish first after having a winless campaign the prior season.
Five Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer standouts were selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Saint Louis' Kingsley Bryce was taken with the 28th pick, while VCU’s Kharlton Belmar was taken 34th. Bryce was one of four Billikens taken in the draft, tying SLU with North Carolina for the most players selected. Bryce was joined by teammates Manning, Kristo and Raymond Lee.