UM Soccer players excelling in summer league
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MONTEVALLO – A trio of members of the University of Montevallo men’s soccer team have helped the Erie Admirals advance to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Final Four, which got underway Saturday, July 24.
Senior Shane Howard, junior Gary O’Neill and freshman Thomas Davis helped the Admirals, based in Erie, Pa., capture the NPSL Midwest Region championship this summer. The Admirals finished the regular season with a 6-3-3 mark in the Great Lakes Division.
The trio of Falcons helped Erie defeat the Quad Cities Eagles FC 1-0 in the quarterfinal round of the NPSL Playoffs, which set up a meeting with the South Region champion RVA Football Club of Richmond, Va. in the Final Four.
The Sonoma County Sol, the Western Region champion, will face FC Sonic Lehigh Valley, the Northeast Region champion, in the other matchup in the Final Four. FC Sonic Lehigh Valley is seeking to defend its NPSL championship.
O’Neill, a defender, scored one goal during the regular season for the Admirals. O’Neill’s goal came against Detroit City FC in a regular season match June 16.
O’Neill, a Dublin, Ireland native, earned the program’s Defensive Player of the Year award and was named first team All-Peach Belt Conference, first team Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region and second team National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region following his junior season. O’Neill, who started all 20 matches he appeared in, finished with three goals and one assist during his junior season.
Howard, a midfielder, was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division II Scholar All-Southeast Region team. The County Carlow, Ireland native was also named first team All-Peach Belt Conference and second team NSCAA NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region. Howard, who was named a Bronze Scholar on the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll, started all 20 matches he appeared in, scoring five goals and finishing with four assists during his senior season.
Davis, an Auckland, New Zealand native, earned the program’s Rookie of the Year award and was named a Presidential Scholar on the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll following his freshman season. Davis, a defender who started all 20 matches he appeared in for the Falcons, finished with two goals and one assist.