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April 20, 2006

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The University of South Carolina men’s soccer program held its team banquet on Wednesday evening to celebrate the 2005 season and its Conference USA Championship. A longtime independent, South Carolina captured the C-USA Tournament title in its inaugural season competing in the league and also competed in the NCAA Tournament. Wednesday’s banquet was highlighted by the presentation of C-USA Championship rings to the team.

The John M. Johnson Team MVP Award, the Brian Winstead Offensive MVP Award and the Bill Lauritzen Defensive MVP Award were all presented Wednesday. Senior Greg Reece received the John M. Johnson Award, which is voted on by the team and coaches. Established in 1982, the award is named in honor of Johnson, who was an avid South Carolina soccer fan and lifelong supporter of the program.

Senior Josh Alcala accepted the Brian Winstead Award as the team’s most valuable offensive player. The award honors the memory of Gamecock soccer pioneer Brian Winstead. Winstead was the first player to sign a scholarship agreement with USC in the team’s inaugural varsity season in 1978 and went on to serve as team captain and earn All-Region honors. He ranks among the top 10 scorers in Gamecock soccer history.

Freshman goalkeeper Mike Gustavson was the recipient of the first Bill Lauritzen Defensive Most Valuable Player Award. Lauritzen was the longtime coach of the USC men’s soccer club team.

Senior Eric Szeszycki received the Coaches Award, given to the player that was most instrumental to the team’s success.

Plaques were presented to those players that made the all-Conference USA Team, including:

Greg Reece, Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year & first-team all-C-USAMike Gustavson, Conference USA Freshman of the year & second-team all-C-USAJosh Alcala, first-team all-C-USAMike Sambursky, first-team all-C-USARyan Leeton, third-team all-C-USARalph Pace, third-team all-C-USA

Additionally, letter awards, academic awards and strength and conditioning awards were distributed at the banquet. The team enjoyed a season highlight video as well.

See a complete list of awards below:

Academic Awards By ClassFreshman - David SmithSophomore - Daniel UpchurchJunior - Ryan LeetonSenior - Ryan Deter
Strength and Conditioning AwardJ.D. Moon and Daniel Upchurch
SEC Fall Academic Honor RollRyan DeterB.J. NielsenJeff GrossMatt KingRyan LeetonSebastian LindholmJ.D. MoonRamon ParacatGreg ReeceDavid RossEric SzeszyckiDavid Ross
All-South RegionGreg Reece, first teamCollege Soccer News All-AmericanGreg Reece, third team
Soccer Times All-AmericanGreg Reece, Honorable Mention