Ephs Garner NSCAA, NCAA and ECAC Post-Season Honors; Conor Smith 1st Team All-American

Conor Smith receives 3rd place trophy
Conor Smith receives 3rd place trophy

Non-Game Action Photo Gallery from San Antonio

Mike Russo‘s 2009 Williams men’s soccer finished the year with a 16-3-3 record and third in the nation after winning the NESCAC title and winning the NCAA Sectionals to advance to the Final Four in San Antonio.

The Eph season ended in the national semifinals with a 2-1 loss to defending and eventual champion Messiah.

Russo’s booters netted 51 goals on the year (best in NESCAC) and allowed just 16 in 22 contests, giving them a 2.38 goals a game average to their opponents’ 0.73. Of the Ephs’ 16 wins, 10 were shutouts.

Senior captain and central back Conor Smith was named a First Team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Smith also collected NCAA All-Tournament honors, was named to the NSCAA New England West First Team and the ECAC-New England team. Smith was a force in the back and up front for the Ephs tallying seven goals off of set pieces. Three of Smith’s net stretchers were game-winners. A late season injury sidelined Smith for three games, but he started all of the other 19.

Junior Joe Vella played alongside Smith in the back and he started and played in 20 contests and scored three goals. One of Vella’s goals was a game-winner and lifted the Ephs to the NESCAC title in the 2-1 win over Middlebury in overtime. Vella was named to the NSCAA’s Second Team All-New England West.

Junior midfielder Gaston Kelly was also named to the NSCAA’s Second Team All-New England West team on the strength of 6 goals and a NESCAC-best 15 assists. Kelly’s 27 points placed him second in NESCAC.

Junior forward Charlie Romero had a breakout season with 12 goals and 6 assists, leading NESCAC in goals scored, points (30) and game-winning goals (8). Romero was the third Eph to be recognized on the NSCAA All-New England West Second Team.  In addition, Romero started all 22 games and was also named Second Team ECAC-New England.

Joining Smith on the NCAA All-Tournament Team and the NSCAA First Team was senior forward Pierre Meloty Kapella. Meloty Kapella notched 8 goals, assisted on three and netted 3 game-winners in recording 19 points in 21 games.

Pierre Meloty-Kapella Gaston Kelly Charlie Romero Joe Vella