Dec. 14, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- While postseason hopes were shattered all too early in Tampa for the Lobo men's soccer team, the close of the 2011 season brings with it much to be proud of for all members of the squad. The Lobos finished the season with an undefeated 18-0-4 record, and made their third NCAA "Sweet 16" appearance in program history.
The team also broke the previous program record of 20 straight games unbeaten with their 22-game stand and set the longest winning streak in a single season with 13 consecutive victories between Sep. 18 and Nov. 11.
Accompanying the numerous team accolades are individual honors as well, with two players in particular garnering prestigious postseason awards. Senior Lance Rozeboom and sophomore Kyle Venter have combined for three All-America awards, both earning the honor for the first time in their careers.
Venter nabbed two of the three awards. Named first-team all-conference and to the all-tournament team by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation earlier in the season, Venter has been a key cog in the Lobo defense all season. After redshirting his true freshman season, he played 20 games as a redshirt freshman on defense last season, and continued as a starter in all 22 games this season at the centerback position.
A native of Aurora, Colo., Venter was named a second-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a third-team All-American by College Soccer News. CSN previously named him to its National Team of the Week after week five of the season, and labeled him an
indispensable player" or "team linchpin" earlier on in the year. Venter also garnered his first MPSF Player of the Week Award on Oct. 3, and was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week following week 12.
On the season, he led the entire team, including starting goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez, in minutes played with 2,030 this year and contributed five goals - three game-tyers and one game-winner - and one assist.
He was named the defensive MVP in both the 2011 TLC Lobo Invitational, as well as in the 2011 University of Akron Tournament after his 81st minute goal tied the Zips and gave them their first non-win since the tournament's inception.
Joining Venter on the NSCAA All-American list is senior Lance Rozeboom, also named to the second team. Rozeboom tallied eight points with three goals and two assists this season, all three goals coming on penalty kicks.
He was named first-team all-MPSF (his third all-conference honor, first on the first-team,) as well as to Top Drawer Soccer's Top 100 list (No. 37). Most recently, Rozeboom earned one of 52 spots on the 2012 MLS Player Combine list. He'll have the opportunity to show out in front of MLS coaches and scouts this January, hoping to be drafted to one of the nations top MLS teams.
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