Seven Rams Named to A-10 All Conference Soccer Teams
Nov. 9, 2011
Newport News, Va. - The Atlantic 10 Conference released its All-Conference Teams on Wednesday as seven different Rams were named to the list, the most since Fordham joined the league. Leading the way was senior goalkeeper Ryan Meara (Crestwood, New York/Fordham Prep), who was selected as the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All Atlantic 10. Meara is the third Fordham player to win a major award from the Atlantic 10, joining former Rams John Wolyniec (A-10 Player of the Year, 1998) and Tim Richardson (A-10 Midfielder of the Year, 2009).
Joining Meara on the All-Conference First Team was Nathaniel Bekoe (Accra, Ghana/Hotchkiss School (Conn.)) while Ryan Curran (Carlow, Ireland/CBS Carlow), Tim Richardson (Palmerston North, New Zealand, Palmerston North), and John Niyonsaba (Auckland, New Zealand/ King's College) were named to the Second Team. Jack-Tim Murphy (Wexford, Ireland/St. Peter's College) was also selected to the All-Rookie Team and senior forward, Aaron Markowitz (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y./Hastings) was named Academic All-Conference.
Meara was named to the First Team, All-Conference for the third consecutive year. During the 2011 season, the keeper posted 10 shutouts, becoming the school's all-time leader in that category after putting up a clean sheet at #23 Xavier earlier in the year. He finished the regular-season with a .878 save percentage and earned a 0.57 goals against average, both career-highs. The Crestwood, New York native, also posted all-time bests in wins (11), shutouts (10) and fewest goals allowed (9). Nationally Meara is 6th in save percentage and 10th in goals against average.
Sophomore midfielder Nathaniel Bekoe joined Meara on the First Team. This was just the third time the Rams had two players on the First Team. In 1996, Sal Leanti and John Wolyniec were on the team, and Meara and Richardson were members in 2009. Bekoe, in just his second season with the Rams, started every game and finished the season with two points on a pair of assists. This was the first such award for the midfielder.
Niyonsaba finished the season as the top scorer for the Rams as he led or tied for the team lead in goals (three), assists (three) and points (nine). He also had three game-winning markers, highlighted by recording the only score in a 1-0 upset of #10 Charlotte.
Richardson was second on the team with eight points, tied for the team lead in goals (three) and chipped in with a pair of assists. He scored markers against Manhattan, La Salle and Saint Joseph's. Richardson took home All-Conference accolades for the third straight season. Curran saw action in all 18 games along the back line and was part of a defense that led the conference in shutouts, fewest goals allowed and goals against average. He attempted one shot on the season.
Freshman Jack-Tim Murphy finished the season tied for the team lead in goals (three). Among first year players for the Rams, he saw action in the most games. His goals came against Adelphi, Saint Louis and Saint Joseph's.
Senior forward Aaron Markowitz was named to the Academic All-Conference Team. The Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Economics major never had a semester below a 3.8 grade point average and was named to the Dean's List at Fordham. On the pitch, he scored a pair of goals against La Salle on Senior Day.
These seven players are part of a team that won a share of the regular season championship and the #1 seed in the upcoming A-10 Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. The team earned a first-round bye and will open play on Friday, November 11 at 6:00 P.M. Eastern (5:00 P.M. Central) against the lowest remaining seed from Thursday's games.