Rochester, NY- The Empire 8 announced the 2017 Men's Soccer All-Conference Team on Friday and the Gators were well represented on the team. Sage's junior forward men's soccer player junior forward River Seybolt (Selden, NY/Longwood) was named the 2017 Empire 8 Men's Soccer Player of the Year. The award comes on the heels of his third selection as the Empire 8 Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. He was also named to the First Team.
Named to the Second Team from Sage were senior forward Derlis Zayas (White Plains, NY/White Plains), senior midfielders Kevin Saar (Binghamton, NY/Windsor Central) and Heriberto Gomez (Valatie, NY/Ichabod Crane).
Tapped for the second team on defense were graduate player Anthony Williamson (Beacon, NY/Beacon), junior Ryan Fairweather (Middletown, NY/Minisink Valley). Junior defender James Lagunas (Passaic, NJ/Passaic County Tech) earned acclaim with a spot in the honorable mention team. Williamson was also tapped for the Sportsman of the Year Team for his leadership as well.
Head Men's Soccer Coach Keith Simons said of River's selection, "We are very proud of River and his accomplishment." Simons added, "He is a next level player and all his hard work has certainly paid off. River has had to endure a lot to get to where he is and I can't think of another person who deserves success more than him."
The Gators wrapped their first season as a new member of the Empire 8 Conference by advancing to the championship game and just missed a shot at the league's championship crown after allowing a goal with just 16 seconds left in the match. Sage wrapped the 2017 season with a 10-6-2 overall record after finishing conference play as the No. 3 seed after recording a record of 4-2-1.
Seybolt leads the league in four different offensive categories as he tallied a personal-best campaign this fall on the pitch. He added 16 goals (.889 per game), with 35 points (1.94 ppg), five game-winning goals with 101 shots (5.61 per game).
In the semifinals of the league tournament, Seybolt propelled the Gators to the program's third straight conference championship appearance. Against Nazareth in the Empire 8 semifinals, Sage trailed at the half and with just 1:56 left in regulation, Seybolt would tie the game and send the match to overtime.
Late in the first period of overtime, Seybolt would score his second goal of the match at 99:32 propelling Sage into the conference finals. Sage fell to Stevens Institute of Technology in the championship game, 1-0 to wrap the year.
On the 2017 season, Seybolt once again led the Sage team in scoring with 16 goals, three assists and 35 points. In late October, Seybolt became Sage's all-time leading goal scorer, while also breaking the program's all-time point record as well. He has 40 goals with 10 assists and continues to build upon Sage's career point record which he holds with 90 points.
Zayas was the team's second leading scorer this season with 17 points on six goals with five assists. He added one game-winning goal and started 18 games this year. He finishes his career as Sage's sixth all-time leader with his 44 points, while standing fifth in career goals with 17. He also played in 73 games at Sage (4th).
Gomez played in all 18 games this season with five points on one goal with three assists. His one goal was the game-winner to lift Sage over St. John Fisher College, 2-1 in overtime on September 30 in conference play. Over the course of his career, he played in 71 games at Sage with 17 career points.
Williamson helped to anchor Sage's defensive unit that tallied six shutouts this season. Over the course of his time on the field with Sage, he has served as a two-time team captain and has played in 48 games on defense.
Saar, who was also honored with a selection to the Empire 8 All-Tournament Team, wraps his outstanding career having helped Sage to four-straight post-season appearances in his time as a Gator. As a sophomore, he helped Sage to the 2015 Skyline Conference Championship and a spot in the team's first NCAA Tournament appearances. A year ago, Sage finished the year as the 2016 Skyline Conference Tournament Runner-up after falling in overtime in the finals. Over the course of his career, Saar played in 71 games at Sage and ranks seventh highest in the category in the career record book.
A team captain this fall, Fairweather earned acclaim on defense after helping Sage with his play. He also added five points this season on two goals with an assist. His assist came on the game-winning goal in the Empire 8 semifinals as Sage topped Nazareth in overtime.
Lagunas appeared in 17 games this season and added four points on a goal with two assists. He collected the game-winning goal in the Gators' Empire 8 regular-season finale to help Sage to the No. 3 seed with his score against Elmira.
In addition to the yearly awards and all-conference teams, one member of each team was named that institution's representative on the 2017 Men's Soccer Sportsman of the Year Team. Empire 8 emphasizes that "Competing with Honor and Integrity" is an essential component of a student-athlete's experience in conjunction with an institution's educational mission. These honorees have distinguished themselves and consistently exhibit the critical traits as outstanding sportsmen.