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Riebman, Zafiratos Earn Individual Honors; Six Voted Men’s Soccer All-PSUAC

Chris Riebman
Chris Riebman

MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine's Chris Riebman (Mt. Airy, Md./Linganore) was tabbed as the Penn State University Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, while second-year Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos was voted PSUAC Coach of the Year, highlighting awards received from the league by the Lions' conference-champion men's soccer team on Friday.

Brandywine placed a conference-high five players on the all-conference first team and had six all-PSUAC performers overall. Joining Riebman on the first team were Mohamed Camara (Drexel Hill, Pa./Upper Darby), James Cellucci (Rosemont, Pa./Radnor), Brandon Crochunis (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) and Will Scott-Norris (Wilmington, Del./Mt. Pleasant), while Rajbir Lohat (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) was named to the second team.

During his first collegiate season, Riebman topped all PSUAC men's soccer players with 53 total points and 24 goals. He also added five assists, while appearing in all 18 of the team's games. Brandywine's first men's soccer newcomer of the year in over a decade, Riebman scored at least one goal in eight of Brandywine's 10 matches against PSUAC opponents, including a two-goal, one-assist performance during Wednesday's PSUAC championship victory over Penn State Hazleton.

Riebman posted a pair of eight-point games, scoring four goals against both Penn State Mont Alto on Sept. 30 and Penn State Greater Allegheny 10 days later. A three-time conference player of the week, Riebman ranks third nationally in goals scored and fourth in total points.

Since joining the coaching staff prior to the 2016 season, Zafiratos has led Brandywine to a pair of PSUAC championships and two berths in the USCAA Tournament. During that time, Brandywine he has led Brandywine to a record of 31-6-1, including a 16-3 record this fall. His PSUAC ledger includes 22 victories and zero losses.

Brandywine enters next week's USCAA Tournament in Virginia Beach, Va., riding a 12-game winning streak, tied for the longest active streak among USCAA men's soccer teams.

Camara was Brandywine's third-leading goal scorer with 12 and owns 28 points overall, also the third-highest total on the team. He came on strong during the final 10 matches of the season, scoring 10 of his 12 goals during that time. Camara produced four multi-goal games, while ranking sixth in the league in total points.

Cellucci garnered all-conference accolades for the third-straight year after landing second team honors as a freshman and earning honorable mention laurels in 2016. Also a two-time USCAA All-American, Cellucci led a Brandywine defense that allowed just six goals in 11 PSUAC matches, including six shutouts, and surrendered less than one goal per game overall in 19 matches this fall. A starter in every game, Cellucci also contributed one goal and a pair of assists.

Crochunis enjoyed a breakout junior season in 2017 as he enters the USCAA Tournament tied for third in the PSUAC with 34 total points. Ten of Crochunis' 13 goals came in conference matches, including a three-goal game in a victory over Penn State Beaver on Oct. 14. Crochunis also tied for the team lead with eight assists, while ranking second in the PSUAC and tied for 10th nationally in helpers.

Scott-Norris was selected as the top goalkeeper in the league after producing a 10-2 record during 14 appearances in net this fall. During his time in goal, he recorded one shutout, while combining on five more, and posted a 0.94 goals-against average. In conference matches, Scott-Norris surrendered just three goals, posting a 0.67 GAA and .786 save percentage during 405 minutes between the pipes.

Lohat made an immediate impact in the Lions' midfield, playing in 17 matches as a freshman. He matched a team high in assists, recording one in eight of his 17 games played. Lohat also netted his first collegiate goal in a 5-0 victory at Penn State Scranton on Oct. 18.

In addition to all-conference awards, freshman Owen Parente (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) was selected as Brandywine's representative for the John Fritz Sportsmanship Award. Named after former PSUAC Commissioner John Fritz, the sportsmanship award is given to one player from each team in the league who best displays the core values of the league and sportsmanship to teammates and opponents throughout the season. Parente appeared in 12 matches for the Lions, recording one assist and two shots on goal.

Brandywine, seeded ninth, will face Florida National University and Johnson & Wales (N.C.) in pool play at the USCAA Tournament on Nov. 10-11.

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