Peach Belt Announces Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team

Young Harris' Macauley King
Young Harris' Macauley King

EVANS, GA – The Peach Belt Conference announced the 2017 men's soccer All-Conference team at a banquet in Evans, Ga., on Thursday night prior to the start of the PBC Tournament.  Young Harris' Macauley King was named the PBC Player of the Year while Thibault Chretien of Lander and Mitro Turunen of Clayton State were named co-Freshmen of the Year.   Lander's Lee Squires was honored as the Coach of the Year.

King is the anchor of the Young Harris team.  The junior from Narborough, England, played in all 15 Mountain Lions games in the defensive midfield and led the Peach Belt with nine assists on the season.  The PBC Defender of the Week on Oct. 9, he led a defense that allowed only 15 goals to be scored against them in 15 games with a PBC-best 0.95 team goals allowed average.  YHC was also tied for the league lead in shutouts with five.  King becomes the third YHC player to be named the Player of the Year, joining Paco Craig in 2015 and Ilija Ilic who won in 2013 and 2014.

Thibault Chretien made 13 starts for Lander in his first collegiate season.  The midfielder from Laval, France, scored three goals and added four assists for 10 total point. He is fourth on the team in goals and points and ranked in the PBC's top 10 in assists.   He was named the PBC Player of the Week on Sept. 25 after scoring the game-winner in double overtime at Flagler. He had another game-winner against Carson-Newman in a 2-1 win.  Chretien is the third straight Bearcat and fourth overall to be named a PBC Freshman of the Year.

Mitro Turunen is one of four players to start all 17 games for Clayton State.  The midfielder from Vantaa, Finland, was a key part of the Laker defense that was fourth in the PBC in goals allowed average and that recorded two shutouts, including against Flagler in the PBC Quarterfinals.  Turunen becomes the fifth Clayton State player to be named a Freshman of the Year, the first since Arturo Cruz in 2010.

Lee Squires becomes the first coach in PBC men's soccer history to earn back-to-back Coach of the Year honors.  In his third season at Lander, the Bearcats claimed their second consecutive PBC regular-season championship and are once again the #1 seed in the PBC Tournament.  Lander was 6-0-1 in league play in 2017 with an 11-3-1 mark heading into the PBC semifinals.  Lander has been nationally ranked for six weeks, including the last five in a row, and has risen as high as #17 in the nation.

The 2017 men's soccer team is listed below, as selected by the league's head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

2017 PBC Men's Soccer
All-Conference Team 

First Team

Forwards

Driss Baraket, USC Aiken
Dean Foster, Clayton State
Levin Sandmann, Francis Marion 

Midfielders

Ivan Acimovic, North Georgia
Kwaku Dwamena, Clayton State
Marco Micaletto, Young Harris
Andre Simmond, USC Aiken 

Defenders

Daniel Bennett, North Georgia
Macauley King, Young Harris
Sam Jones, Young Harris
Jordan Skelton, Lander 

Goalkeeper

Matt Sharman, North Georgia  

Second Team

Forwards

Carlos Gomez, Young Harris
Sam Lofts, Lander 
Silvio Polly, Georgia Southwestern

Midfielders

Oliver Brock, Lander
Thibault Chretien, Lander
Gabriel Garcia, North Georgia
Juan Membreno, Flagler 

Defenders

Richard Bryan, Lander
Jordan Knight, Clayton State 

Goalkeeper

Dean Cowdroy, Lander

Select Sport Gold Ball Award (most goals scored)

Kwaku Dwamena, Clayton State

co-Freshmen of the Year

Thibault Chretien, Lander
Mitro Turunen, Clayton State

Player of the Year

Macauley King, Young Harris

Coach of the Year

Lee Squires, Lander

All-Conference First Team
All-Conference Second Team
(L to R) PBC Player of the Year Macauley King, co-Freshmen of the Year Mitro Turunen & Thibault Chretien and Coach of the Year Lee Squires