Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Oct. 31, 2006

Irving, Texas – South Carolina men’s soccer players hauled in a total of 10 separate awards as Conference USA announced it’s 2006 all-conference teams and award-winners. Leading the way for the Gamecock contingent were first-team all-conference honorees Mike Sambursky and Ryan Leeton and Conference USA Freshman of the Year Jeff Scannella.

First-team honors are nothing new for Sambursky, who was a first-team all-conference honoree last year. The senior forward started all 16 games for South Carolina in 2006, scoring a team-high six goals and distributing a team-best eight assists. Sambursky ranked fourth in the league in points per game, accounting for 1.25 points per contest. His 0.5 assists per game were tops among Conference USA players.

A third-team selection a year ago, Leeton achieved first-team status in 2006 by anchoring a Carolina defense that ranked third in the league in goals allowed, goals against average and shutouts. The Gamecocks’ top penalty-kicker, Leeton finished the regular season with three goals, two of which game as penalty kicks.

By earning Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors, Scannella became the second Gamecock in as many years to earn the recognition, as teammate Mike Gustavson secured the recognition in 2005. Scannella, who came to South Carolina as one of the most highly-touted recruits in America after earning NSCAA High School All-America honors in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and participating in the U.S. National Team’s residency program from 2003-04, scored three goals and dished out four assists in his first year at the collegiate level.

Seniors Makan Hislop and Ralph Pace joined sophomore Mike Gustavson on the all-conference second team. Hislop, a defender from the West Indies, started all 15 games in which he played in 2006 and used his 6-foot-4 frame and athleticism to help lead one of the top defensive units in the conference. Pace earned conference honors for the second consecutive year, as he was a third-team honoree last season. Last year’s Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Gustavson also made it two straight years on the all-conference squad, as he was a second-team honoree in 2005. Gustavson played every minute of every game for Carolina in 2006 and was a two-time honoree as the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week. He ranked among the top five goalkeepers in the league in goals against average, saves, save percentage and shutouts.

Senior forward Ayo Akinsete (five goals, two assists) joined Scannella on the all-conference third team. The London native tied for third in the conference with three game-winning goals this year and was chosen as the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week late in the season. His selection to the all-league squad was the first such honor of his career.

A pair of Gamecocks earned spots on the all-freshman team, with Scannella leading the way. Joining him on the squad was midfielder/defender Mark Wiltse. Though he did not score any points this year, Wiltse was known as more of a defensive presence, helping bolster a very good Carolina defensive unit.

The Gamecocks defend their Conference USA Tournament title as they compete as the fourth seed this week, opening with fifth-seeded UAB at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Carolina won the Conference USA Tournament last year.

All-Conference First Team
F: Jerson Monteiro, UAB
F: Riley O’Neill, Kentucky
F: Mike Sambursky, South Carolina
MF: Mike D’Agostino, Kentucky
MF: Bruno Guarda, SMU
MF: Dejan Jakovic, UAB
MF: Chase Wileman, SMU
D: Mynor Gonzalez, SMU
D: Ryan Leeton, South Carolina
D: Jay Needham, SMU
GK: Matt Wideman, SMU

All-Conference Second Team
F: Zak Boggs, UCF
F: Adrian Chevannes, SMU
F: David Hope, Florida International
F: Jose Parada, Tulsa
MF: Two-Boys Gumede, UAB
MF: Ralph Pace, South Carolina
MF: Matt Thomas, Tulsa
MF: Kevin Walsh, Memphis
D: Makan Hislop, South Carolina
D: Jeff Lenix, Marshall
D: Nathan Marks, Kentucky
GK: Mike Gustavson, South Carolina

All-Conference Third Team
F: Ayo Akinsete, South Carolina
F: Karim Boukhemis, Marshall
F: Eric Burkholder, Tulsa
MF: Dadi Kristjánsson, Florida International
MF: Jeff Scannella, South Carolina
MF: Ben Shuleva, SMU
MF: Masumi Turnbull, Kentucky
D: Chris Clements, Tulsa
D: Jamie Gilbert, Memphis
D: Ryan Mirsky, SMU
GK: Dan Williams, Kentucky

All-Freshman Team
Christian Caporaletti, F/MF, Florida International
Barry Rice, D, Kentucky
Dan Williams, GK, Kentucky
Leone Cruz, D, SMU
Stephen Grant, D, SMU
Jeff Scannella, MF, South Carolina
Mark Wiltse, MF/D, South Carolina
Hunter Christiansen, MF, Tulsa
Jose Parada, MF/F, Tulsa
Akin Akinrinade, D, UCF
Cam Jordan, MF, UCF

Player of the Year
Bruno Guarda, MF, SMU

Defensive Player of the Year
Jay Needham, D, SMU

Freshman of the Year
Jeff Scannella, MF, South Carolina

Newcomer of the Year
Kevin Walsh, MF, Memphis

Coach of the Year
Schellas Hyndman, SMU