Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va—The Southern Virginia University men's soccer team had a banner year finishing with a 10-7-0 record—the most program wins in a season since the 2003 squad (13-10-0).
"I'm proud of our team for reaching double-digit wins for the first time in ten years," said sixth-year Head Coach Tony Caputo. "Our experienced players set the foundation to bring along our newcomers into the system for a successful season."
Caputo—the program's all-time winningest coach (62-47-2)—had a recipe set up for a solid campaign in 2012, returning nine from last year's squad that finished 9-6-2 led by team captains seniors Ryan Foster (Custer, S.D.), Branden Seeberger (Forest, Va.) and junior Adam Freeman (Marion, Va.).
"Ryan [Foster], Adam [Freeman] and Branden [Seeberger] all played significant roles throughout the season and were the emotional leaders of our team," said Caputo.
Foster and Freeman headlined Southern Virginia in 2012, earning USCAA All-American First Team honors.
Second-year captain and midfielder Foster posed as a defensive stronghold throughout the season while also finishing third on the team in goals scored (5) and points (10).
On the offensive end, Freeman led the Knights in goals (10), assists (7) and points (27) this season, also giving him a team-high within the past two years of 19 goals netted and 13 assists for 50 total points.
Foster and Freeman were joined on the All-American team by freshman defender Zac McCulloch (Draper, Utah) and three-year starting senior midfielder B. Seeberger, who earned Second Team selections for their solid play and tireless effort on the defensive end.
Freeman, Seeberger and McCulloch were also selected to the VaSID All-State Second Team, the most nominated all-state in men's soccer history.
In addition to nominations for their play on-the-field, men's soccer also produced a program-best five USCAA All-Academic members—senior Garrett Coffman (Wabash, Ind.) and juniors Luis Diaz (Pachuca, Mex.), Maxwell Doxey (Buena Vista, Va.), Eric Palmer (Glen Allen, Va.) and Nathan Seeberger (Forest, Va.).
"To have the most All-Academic nominees in men's soccer is a testament to the character of this team," said Caputo. "That is a feat that reflects our university's mission of preparing leader-servants as well-rounded individuals."
Goal keeper Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) ended his senior campaign as a Knight with a solid 9-6-0 record at the net in 2012, averaging 1.74 goals allowed per-contest and registering 65 saves.
Complementing Freeman offensively this season was two-year starting forward Kyle Tyree (Williamsburg, Va.). Tyree finished tied for second on the team in goals scored (5) and third in points (10).
Newcomers junior-transfer Nathaniel Sellis (Taylorsville, Utah) and Cameron Walch (Sandy, Utah) provided a spark at midfield for Southern Virginia. Sellis recorded the second most points (14), assists (4) and goals scored (5) while Walch started all 17 games and finished with nine points, three goals and three assists.
In conjunction with B. Seeberger, four-year Knight Coffman and freshman Grant Montoya (Fairfax, Va.) anchored a solid Southern Virginia defense that allowed 1.70 goals-per-match throughout the year.
"I can't say enough about each scholar-athlete's contribution to our team," said Caputo. "Their teamwork and knowledge of the game made the year enjoyable to coach."
After the Knights started the season 4-4 through the first portion of the year, including dropping three of the four losses by one goal apiece, the team went on a stretch of five consecutive wins highlighted by a 2-1 overtime victory at Capital Athletic Conference-member Marymount University on Oct. 3.
The win streak was snapped as Southern Virginia then fell in its next three games before capping 2012 with a 2-0 shutout victory at NCAA Division III Randolph College on Oct. 24, to record the Knights' tenth win.
"This team is one of the most competitive groups of players I've coached," said Caputo. "The program is in good hands to have continual success in the future."
A few months ago, Southern Virginia University Athletic Director Scott Y. Doxey named Matt Grawrock director of soccer. In addition to his duties as head women's soccer coach, Grawrock will now coach and recruit for Southern Virginia men's soccer.
Grawrock inherits men's soccer from Caputo, who is stepping down after being named head men's basketball coach last May.
Under Caputo's helm, men's soccer won 19 games through 2011-12—the most program wins in a two-year span since 2002-03.