WMU News

Soccer's Karwoski nets MAC Coach of the Year

Nov. 14, 2003

KALAMAZOO--A record-setting season by Western Michigan University has netted men's soccer coach Chris Karwoski the 2003 Gary V. Palmisano Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Award and all-league honors for four WMU student-athletes.

Only two teams in program history have won more games in a season than the Broncos' 11 victories this season under sixth-year mentor Karwoski. The team earned its first regional ranking in 15 years earlier this season and posted a school-record in MAC regular season wins. That success helped the Broncos claim the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament, the highest-ever by a WMU squad.

The Broncos face Bowling Green on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. for the MAC Tournament Championship and automatic NCAA Championship bid. The match will be played at the WMU Soccer Complex. General admission is $5. Students and children will be admitted for $3.

"It's an honor to be recognized by the group of quality coaches in the MAC," head coach Chris Karwoski. "I think the award represents the team more than it does individual accomplishment."

Senior midfielder Scott Duhl and sophomore forward Jeff Hughes earned spots on the ALL-MAC First Team squad while senior midfielder Giusseppe Ianni and junior defender Jason Okroy were tabbed for the All-MAC Second Team.

Duhl is the first player in program history to earn All-MAC honors each of his four seasons. A second team selection as a freshman, the Canton, Mich., native has been a staple of the first team the last three campaigns. Duhl owns five goals on the year and his shootout goal versus Akron allowed the Broncos to advance to the title match.

Hughes exploded onto the MAC soccer scene this season, leading the league in goals (13), points (30), shots (64) and several other offensive categories. Ianni is second on the squad in scoring (15 points) and is tied for the team lead with three game-winning scores. Okroy owns three scores on the year from his position on the back line and has played a key role in five shutout victories.

Hughes, Ianni and Okroy were all first-time recipients of all-conference recognition.

"All of the guys were very deserving," Karwoski said. "Each has played a key role in the team's success this season. Only a handful of guys in the league have accomplished what Scott has done."

Media contact: Scott Kuykendall, 269 387-4138, scott.kuykendall@wmich.edu

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