The Northeast Conference announced Central Connecticut senior Reece Wilson as the 2012 men's soccer NEC Player of the Year on Thursday evening. Wilson is Central's first men's soccer Player of the Year since Alex Harrison won the award back-to-back years in 2004 and 2005.
Central boasted four Blue Devils on the All-Conference roster. Wilson, along with seniors Thomas Obasi and Jesse Menzies, all landed spots on the All-NEC First Team and senior Steven Bailey received All-NEC Second Team honors.
As a senior captain, Wilson entered the 2012 season as a Hermann Trophy candidate being recognized on the watch list. The Hermann Trophy is the highest accolade in Division I college men's soccer. Wilson was also named NEC Player of the Week twice in 2012 (9/17, 10/22) for his three-goal performance at the Belmont Invitational as well as his two-goal one-assist performance against Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart.
Wilson also displayed his ability in the classroom as he was named to the Capitol One 2012 Academic All-District Men's Soccer Team (District One), the only player in the NEC to do so. The 11-man roster was selected by COSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) and teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont represented the list. The accounting major maintained a GPA of 3.84 this year to land him a spot on the All-Academic team.
Wilson led the team and was second in the NEC in points this season with 24. He recorded team-highs in goals scored and assists netting nine goals and assisting six more goals in 2012. Unable to find the back of the net in Central's first four games of the season, Wilson went on a scoring frenzy scoring nine goals in the Blue Devils' final 13 games. The senior finished his two-year Blue Devil career with 39 points, 15 goals, and nine assists.
Second on the team in goals scored was Menzies who also earned a spot on the All-NEC First Team. Menzies was the shared team leader in assists with six along with teammate Wilson. He ranked tied for second in the conference in assists as well as assists-per-game. Menzies totaled the second best point total on the team with 16 as well as marking down a shot-on-goal percentage of .515. The senior midfielder also went two-for-three shooting penalty kicks for Central in 2012. Menzies played in 71 games for Central after joining the team as a freshman in 2009, that is the highest number of games for any Blue Devil on the 2012 roster. He finished his career with 30 points off of of seven goals and 16 assists. Menzies scored a career high five goals in the 2012 season, his final year as a Blue Devil.
Obasi earned his spot on the 2012 NEC All-Conference First Team. In his senior season he wrote in seven points off of one goal and an impressive five assists. Obasi made history on October 5th of this season against St. Francis (PA) recording three assists in a game. His three assists tied a CCSU school record for assists in a game. During his two-year career as a Blue Devil, Obasi totaled 15 points with four goals and seven assists.
Representing the Blue Devils on the All-NEC Second Team was Bailey. He scored two goals this season which gave him four points on the year. He registered a shot-on-goal percentage of .450 off of nine shots-on-goal. Bailey is also another two-year player under Head Coach Shaun Green. During his time at Central he netted four goals and eight points as a Blue Devil.
All four honorees from Central played in all 18 games for the Blue Devils in 2012 leading the team to an overall record of 8-8-2 and a conference mark of 6-3-1. The team finished fourth in the conference regular season standings with 19 points.
Wilson, Obasi, and Menzies were all invited to play in the 2012 New England Intercollegiate Soccer All-Star Game. The game will be played on Sunday, November 25th at 1 p.m. and will be hosted by Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.