MANCHESTER, N.H. - Family, friends, alumni and current members of the Southern New Hampshire University men's soccer team gathered on the university's campus Sunday, April 22 to celebrate the 2016 season. The Penmen finished with an overall record of 12-5-2, with some of the highlights being earning recognition on Sportscenter Top 10 plays and three players signing professional contracts.
MVP - Rayane Boukemia
Boukemia led the Penmen in scoring and points this past season on his way to earning many accolades, both nationally and within the conference. He garnered All-Conference First Team, All-Region First Team and All-America Third Team honors after compiling 31 points on the season. Rayane has now moved on from SNHU after signing a professional contract with the Rochester Rhinos of the USL, joining former teammate Sofiane Tergou in Rochester.
Most Improved - Matthew Crowley
Crowley changed his game throughout the season to earn the Most Improved Award for the Penmen. Originally a midfielder, he was asked to play as a defender midway through the season and exceled in that spot. After playing in only seven games in 2015, he doubled that tally and added eight starts in 2016 to earn the recognition from his teammates to be named most improved.
The German duo saw success, both in the classroom and on the field, this year for the Penmen. Esche and Becker are both chasing their Master's degrees and maintained a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester. Both of these players also saw significant time on the field, starting every game for the Penmen and garnering all-conference and all-region honors. Both players have returned home to sign a professional deal for the same club in Germany.
Most Inspirational - Gilbert Manier
Leading the Penmen as their captain, Manier had a way of motivating each player before each training session and game. Manier always had a smile on his face and earned the respect of his teammates instantly when he joined the Penmen back in 2014.
Coaches' Award - Matthew Crowley
Matthew's name appears for the second time during this award sequence because he worked hard during the fall to earn a spot in the lineup and do whatever he was asked to do by the coaching staff to the best of his ability. Coming in as a midfielder, he was asked to play in the back due to some injuries and jumped on the opportunity to get on the field, taking it and running with it.
Ryan Menter Strength Award - Tyler Bivona
After battling through injury after injury during the spring season, Tyler Bivona earned the Ryan Menter Strength Award. This award is earned by showing the hard work and dedication to better yourself in the offseason on the field. The tireless work ethic of Bivona did not go unnoticed, whether it was in the weight room or with a ball at his feet, as he looked to improve, both physically and technically, as the spring season transpired.