Venter & McKendry Named Top Players in NCAA By National Media
Dec. 6, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Junior Kyle Venter and freshman Ben McKendry were honored by national soccer media outlet TopDrawerSoccer.com as members of their National Teams of the Season. It’s the second yearly award for Venter this season and the third for McKendry.
Defender Kyle Venter was named to the Second Team All-Season as one of the top five defenders in the nation. Venter, who was an All-American as a sophomore, was a First Team All-MPSF selection this season. He was a member of TopDrawerSoccer’s National Team of the Week in late October when he tallied a game-winning goal in weekend shutouts of San Jose State and Seattle University.
Venter started all 22 matches for the Lobos in the backline while tallying two goals and an assist. He and the rest of the New Mexico defense were among the stingiest in the NCAA. UNM posted eleven shutouts this season, which included seven straight to end the regular season and open the conference tournament.
Freshman Ben McKendry was named to the Second Team Freshmen All-Season as one of the top handful of freshmen midfielders in college soccer. For McKendry it’s the third premier freshman award he has received this year. The native of Vancouver, British Columbia was the MPSF Newcomer of the Year as well as a member of College Soccer News’ National All-Freshman Team.
The Canadian's seven goals were the most by a New Mexico freshman since the late Ben Ashwill scored twelve goals as a freshman in 2002. His scoring output was third on the team and among the top 15 in the nation for freshmen.
Venter, McKendry and the rest of the Lobos finished the 2012 season in the Sweet 16 of their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in eleven seasons. UNM's Sweet 16 appearance was their fourth all-time and their second-consecutive NCAA Third Round showing. Their 17-4-1 final record helped tie the program’s mark for most wins in a two-year span. The 2011 and 2012 Lobos combined to win 35 matches, which ties the mark set by the 2004 and 2005 seasons.