Ocel, Coven and staff earn top accolades from UAA

Sam Ocel '13 is the UAA MVP, Mike Coven leads the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year (Photos by Sportspix.biz)
Sam Ocel '13 is the UAA MVP, Mike Coven leads the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year (Photos by Sportspix.biz)
WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University senior Sam Ocel of North Attleboro, Mass., has been named as the 2012 University Athletic Association (UAA) Men's Soccer Most Valuable Player, while head coach Mike Coven and assistants Gabe Margolis, Tim Murray and Ari Silver '12 shared UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors. In addition to Ocel, the Judges put senior back Joe Eisenbies of Hingham, Mass., on the All-UAA first team, senior forward Lee Russo of Westford, Mass., and junior midfielder Kyle Feather of Pinebrook, N.J., on the second team. Junior back Ben Applefield of Avon, Conn., and senior goalkeeper Blake Minchoff of Fiskdale, Mass., earned All-UAA honorable mention.

Ocel is the third Brandeis player to win UAA MVP honors and the first since Ken Hannan '95 earned the honor in 1994. (Michael Novaria '90 in 1988 was the other.). He finished the 2012 regular season with 10 goals and eight assists for 28 points, second-most in the UAA behind teammate Russo. Seven of Ocel's goals this season were game-winners, including three in UAA play. He delivered conference-game-winning strikes against Case Western Reserve on Oct. 6 in the 50th minute; against Emory on Oct. 26 in the 49th minute; and against NYU on Nov. 3 in the 68th minute. He also produced an overtime game-winner in a key non-conference matchup with Babson on Sept. 19. For his career, Ocel has 20 goals and 19 assists for 59 points in just three full seasons of play, ranking him 18th on Brandeis's career list. Ocel was a second-team All-UAA selection last season.

Eisenbies, earns his first All-UAA accolade after moving from midfield to defense this season. He had a goal and an assist this season, but was instrumental in controlling the back line. The Judges has eight shutouts in the regular season, and allowed more than one goal in only three of their 19 contests, allowing just 15 goals overall, third-fewest in the UAA. Eisenbies was the MVP of the Judges' 2011 ECAC Division III New England Touranment run.

Russo was an All-UAA Honorable mention in 2011. This year, he turned in his finest season, tying for the UAA lead with 12 goals and topping the scoring charts with 31 points thanks to his seven assists. Russo contributed four game-winning goals this season, including a 63rd minute strike in a UAA road win at Washington University on Oct. 14, and an overtime winner against MIT on Sept. 9. Russo enters the postseason ranked ninth on Brandeis's career scoring list with 32 goals and 17 assists for 81 points.

Feather finished the 2012 season as the Judges' third-leading scorer with six goals and seven assists for 19 points. He tied with Russo for second on the squad in assists, finishing fourth in the UAA, while also placing 10th in points scored as well. Feather had four different games this season in which he registered a goal and an assist, including a five-point night in a win over Mount Ida, Oct. 23. Feather currently has 16 goals and 10 assists for 42 points in his career.

The Judges' two honorable mention players were Applefield, who held down the left back position while also contributing a goal and three assists, and Minchoff, who was recognized for the second year in a row after finishing third in the UAA with a 0.81 goals against average and second with 59 saves, and an 0.83 GAA and 26 saves in UAA play.

For Coven, this marks the second time in his 40-year career – and the 25 years of the UAA – that he has been part of the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year, along with the 2002 season. Coven has guided his squad to a 16-2-1 overall record, including 4-2-1 in the league that helped Brandeis to its first-ever share of the UAA title in a remarkable four-way tie with Carnegie Mellon, Emory and Washington University. Though CMU – who shared UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors - earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, the Judges claimed an at-large berth to the tournament. It will mark the Judges' first trip to the NCAAs since 1985. Coven guided Brandeis to the 1976 Division III title and the 1984 championship match.

The Brandeis men's soccer team will host first- and second-round NCAA tournament matches at Gordon Field on November 10 and 11. The Judges will take on Baruch College at 5 p.m. on Saturday, followed by Tufts University against Vassar College at 7:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Sunday at 5 p.m. for the right to advance to the sectional round. You can learn more about the four teams and the regional at our web site at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/msoc/2012-13/ncaa/index.

For more information about Brandeis men's soccer, please visit our web site at http://www.brandeisjudges.com/sports/msoc.

For the complete UAA All-Association team, please click here: http://www.uaa.rochester.edu/Soccer/12%20MSoc_All_Assoc.pdf

Ocel is a 2009 graduate of No. Attleboro, Mass. He is the son of Jeffrey and Pamela Ocel, No. Attleboro, Mass.

Eisenbies is a 2009 graduate of Hingham High School. He is the son Ray and Bonnie Eisenbies, Hingham, Mass.

Russo is a 2009 graduate of Westford Academy. He is the son of Joseph and Mary Russo, Westford, Mass.

Feather is a 2010 graduate of Montville Township High School. He is the son of Lawrence and Barbara Feather, Pinebrook, N.J.

Minchoff is a 2009 graduate of Tantasqua Regional High School. He is the son of Danny and Lori Minchoff, Fiskdale, Mass.

Applefield is a 2010 graduate of Avon High School. He is the son of Dean and Deb Applefield, Avon, Conn.

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