2011 Season in Review

Go Leopards! 2011 First Team All-Patriot League honoree Sean Peckham
2011 First Team All-Patriot League honoree Sean Peckham

The Lafayette men's soccer team wrapped up its 11th consecutive winning season in 2011 - a streak that began when Dennis Bohn took the reins of the program in 2001. The Leopards are one of just 10 Division I teams in the nation to have an active streak of this length. The 2011 edition of the Leopards received recognition on the national, regional and Patriot League levels for outstanding performances on the pitch as well as in the classroom.

With a 9-5-4 record, the Leopards finished the season with the highest RPI in the Patriot League as well as the league's second-highest win total. Key Patriot League victories for Lafayette included a 1-0 blanking of historic rival Lehigh and a 2-0 triumph at Bucknell to conclude the regular season. The non-league slate was punctuated by a dominant 3-0 victory at Delaware - a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament as champion of the Colonial Athletic Association. In other positive results, the Leopards earned draws against Big East Tournament semifinalist Villanova and at perennial Ivy League contender Cornell. In another hard-fought contest, Lafayette fell short, 1-0, on the road at James Madison - an NCAA Tournament participant that finished ranked No. 20 in the nation. The team closed out 2011 ranked seventh in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The Leopards' defense finished among the NCAA leaders in numerous categories. The team ranked fourth in the nation in goals-against average at 0.47 and eighth in shutout percentage after posting 10 clean sheets in 18 matches. The goalkeeping duo of senior Graham Heydt and sophomore Nathan McDonald combined to rank second in the country with a .900 save percentage, trailing only a Creighton squad that advanced to the College Cup semifinals. Individually, Heydt ranked second in Division I with a .908 save percentage and fifth with a 0.50 goals-against average. He was also 15th in the country with a Patriot League-leading 5.31 saves per game. A two-time Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week, Heydt posted seven shutouts in his senior campaign. In seven Patriot League matches, he led all goalkeepers in every statistical category: GAA (0.26), saves (45), save percentage (.957), saves per match (6.43) and shutouts (5).

 

 

Among the most decorated of the Leopards in 2011 was Second Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region and First Team All-Patriot League midfielder Sean Peckham. Peckham, a junior, was one of just two student-athletes to earn back-to-back first-team honors from the Patriot League. He scored one goal and tallied six assists in 15 matches in 2011 - leading all Patriot League players with 0.40 assists per match.

Kyle Scharfenberg scored a team-high seven goals in 2011 - the most by a Leopard since Scott Hawkins '08 found the net seven times in 2007 - en route to Second Team All-Patriot League and Third Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region laurels. The junior midfielder's 16 points were also a team-best total and the most by a Lafayette student-athlete since Hawkins' 18 points in 2006. Scharfenberg shared a pair of League highs with three goals and seven points in Patriot League play despite missing the Leopards' Patriot League opener against Navy.

Julian Plummer, the freshman anchor of Lafayette's nationally-recognized defense, also claimed a Second Team All-Patriot League distinction in his first season on College Hill. The two-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week was the lone freshman to be honored by the league's head coaches with an All-Patriot League nod.

Academically, the Leopards posted a collective 3.4 grade point average during the fall of 2011 and claimed their fifth consecutive NSCAA Team Academic Award. Academic success has been a constant during Bohn's 11-year tenure at Lafayette, as his student-athletes have combined for 131 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll selections, including 21 from the 2011 season.

Heydt and junior Blake Fink were both lauded individually for their efforts as student-athletes. Both earned Scholar All-East Honorable Mentions from the NSCAA and Academic All-Patriot League laurels. Fink was also selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team.

The Leopards are set to return 20 members of this past season's roster for the 2012 campaign, including their trio of All-Patriot League performers. The 2012 slate is tentatively scheduled to begin on Aug. 28 at Fairleigh Dickinson with action returning to Mike Bourger '44 Field at Oaks Stadium on Sept. 7 against Cornell.

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