Related: USA South Release
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Seven Covenant men's soccer players earned All-USA South honors as the conference released its season awards on Wednesday. Jesse Riggs earned first team All-USA South honors, while Christopher Kitchen and Paul Lemay were second team choices, and Carl Simakoff, Josh Brower, and Parker Owen were third team selections.
Jonathan Barrett was Covenant's representative on the All-Sportsmanship team.
The six all-conference awards are the most for the program since 2014.
Riggs, a junior from Chesapeake, Va., collects his first All-USA South honor. The junior leads Covenant in scoring with seven goals on the year and is a perfect 4-for-4 on penalty kicks. Riggs has two game-winning goals, including the eventual winner in the Scots' 3-0 victory over Piedmont in a USA South Tournament first round match on Tuesday. Riggs' seven goals ties a career-high, matching his output in his freshman season.
It is also the first all-conference nod for Kitchen, a senior from Charlotte, N.C. A second team selection this year, Kitchen has been a major part of the defense all season long as the defender has helped the Scots to four straight shutouts entering Friday's USA South Tournament semifinal match against Greensboro. Kitchen's play has aided in eight shutouts on the year. Offensively, the senior has contributed two assists.
Lemay, a junior from Apopka, Fla., has been outstanding at the net all year in his first season as the starting keeper as he earned second team honors. The junior has started 17 matches and has a goals against average of 0.99 with 67 saves and six complete shutouts. Lemay ranks second in the USA South with his save percentage of .807, while his goals against average is third and his 12 wins and six shutouts both rank first among the conference's keepers. Lemay was named USA South Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 17.
Simakoff, a senior from St. Louis, Mo., earns All-USA South honors for a second straight year as his third team choice this year goes along with an honorable mention selection in 2017. The senior is third on the team in scoring with five goals to go along with one assist. Simakoff has two game-winning scores on the year, including a goal in the second half that helped the Scots pick up a road win at Maryville on Sept. 11. Simakoff scored an insurance goal in Covenant's 3-0 win over Piedmont in Tuesday's USA South Tournament first round match.
Brower, a junior from Birmingham, Ala., earns his first All-USA South selection as he was also named to the third team. The junior leads Covenant with six assists on the year to go with five goals. Brower had a goal and an assist in the Scots' win over Piedmont on Tuesday. His six assists ranks fifth in the USA South. Three of Brower's five goals have come against USA South foes and he has tallied a goal and an assist in consecutive matches.
Owen, a sophomore from Knoxville, Tenn., was the third Scot to earn third team All-USA South honors. It is the first career all-conference honor. Owen is second on the team with six goals to go with one assist. The sophomore had the eventual game-winner in Covenant's 3-1 win over Brevard on Sept. 15 and notched his first career two-goal match in a 5-1 win over Methodist on Oct. 6.
Barrett, a senior from Collierville, Tenn., was Covenant's representative on the All-Sportsmanship team. The senior has started in all 19 matches this year and scored the game-winning goal in the Scots' 1-0 win over William Peace on Oct. 20. Barrett has played in 59 career matches, including all of Covenant's matches over the last two seasons.
Greensboro's Jordy Briceno was named the USA South Player of the Year and William Peace's Ivan Ponce was the Rookie of the Year. Maryville keeper Ryan Jorgensen earned Goalkeeper of the Year, while William Peace head coach Ryan Huber was named Coach of the Year.
Covenant (13-5-1) will play Greensboro on Friday at 4 p.m. in a USA South Tournament semifinal match on the campus of Maryville College.
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