DAYTON, Ohio - The University of Dayton men's soccer team led all squads with five selections to the 2009 NSCAA Division I Mid-Atlantic All-Region teams which were announced Friday. The five all-region picks are the most ever in Flyer men's soccer history. The previous high was when they had four selections in 2004.
"We had an extremely balanced squad this season and it is great to see that we have five student-athletes honored on the All-Region team," said UD Head Coach Dennis Currier.
Senior Isaac Kissi, who just learned he was accepted to the 2010 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine, led the way for the Flyers with a First Team NSCAA Mid-Atlantic All-Region nod. He led the Flyers with nine goals and 22 points this season. Kissi was also a First Team Atlantic 10 selection.
"Isaac was our most valuable player throughout the season and scored crucial goals for the Flyers," said Currier. "He was exceptional in the air and breaking down defenses with his athletic ability."
Fellow senior Ryan Handbury was named second team, earning NSCAA All-Region honors for three consecutive seasons. Handbury started every game of his career and logged 7,125 minutes in his four years. In addition to his defensive prowess, Handbury, a three-time All-Atlantic 10 selection, also supplied a boost to the offense with a team-high eight assists this season. "Ryan has been our most durable player the past four years, starting in every game," said Currier. "He is our vocal leader in the back and led our team to a national ranking in shutout percentage this season."
Seniors Alex Torda and Ben Murray, along with sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Picard, were named third team all-region. Torda, a candidate for the 2008 Hermann Trophy, earned all-region honors for the third time in his career. He was a second team selection in 2008 and a first team honoree in 2007. Of Torda's six goals this season, three were game winners. He finished his four-year career at Dayton with 24 goals, 11 assists and 59 points.
"Alex had to take on new responsibilities this season with the graduation loss of his striking partner from 2008," said Currier. "His role became more of a holding forward but by the second half of the season Alex continued to do what he has done best - score goals."
Murray, Dayton's MVP last season, played in 19 games with 12 starts this season in midfield. Murray, along with Torda, were both named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Top 30.
"Ben is our workhorse in the central midfield and links all play going forward," said Currier. "His work ethic is one of the best in the country. He also gave us critical leadership that is necessary in winning championships."
Picard was second in the A-10 in shutouts with six. He earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors after posting back-to-back shutouts against then-ranked No. 11 Charlotte, and another 2009 NCAA Tournament qualifier Saint Louis. He was also named Second Team All-Atlantic 10 at the end of the regular season.
"Tyler played a major role in our conference championship this season when he came back from a month-long injury and posted six shutouts in nine games," said Currier. "He is extremely composed in the net."
In addition to the individual accolades, the Flyers earned the 2009 NSCAA College Team Academic Award. The UD women's team also took home this honor, which made the University of Dayton one of 99 schools to have both the men's and women's soccer programs earn the distinction.