Seven Falcons Land All-Commonwealth Honors, J. Thompson ROY
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Grantham, PA — Coming off last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Alvernia in the Commonwealth Championships title game, the Messiah Falcons were honored on Wednesday with seven All-Commonwealth awards. Highlighting the seven recognitions was freshman Jack Thompson, who was named to the First Team while also nabbing the Rookie of the Year award for the conference.
Four Falcons were named to the First Team, with senior Danny Thompson landing on the team for the second straight season. Joining the Thompson brothers were senior midfielder Sam Woodworth and senior defender Jordan Sands. Senior forward Derek Black, sophomore defender Josh Kremers, and junior goalkeeper Jake Berry were named to the Second Team for the Commonwealth.
Across Messiah’s perfect 7-0 record in the conference this season, Danny Thompson led the league with six goals and 15 points. His three assists were tied for second in the conference. Younger brother Jack was second to Danny in both goals and points in conference play, with five and 12, respectively. Jack is the third Rookie of the Year from Messiah in the past four seasons, joining Josh Wood in 2010 and Derek Black in 2008.
Woodworth makes his All-Commonwealth debut in 2011. A captain along with Danny Thompson and classmate Tom Renko, Woodworth’s dependable and fundamental play helped the Falcons to their fifth straight Commonwealth title this season. The midfielder started all league games for the Falcons, who dominated conference opposition on both sides of the ball.
The Falcons scored a league-leading 27 goals in 2011, 17 more than Elizabethtown. The Falcons' 19 assists were 10 more than Alvernia.
Sands debuts on the First Team after being selected a Second Team All-Commonwealth member in 2010. The senior defender led a Messiah defense that dominated the conference, as the Falcons allowed only two goals against across their seven games.
Along with Second Team honorees Josh Kremers and Jake Berry, Messiah’s 0.29 goals against average and five shutouts led the conference. Berry’s Second Team honor was his second straight, as he led the conference with a 0.33 goals against average. His 0.889 save percentage was second only Alvernia’s Ben Diller, who was named to the First Team. Berry and Diller were tied with four shutouts apiece.
For Black, the Second Team recognition was his fourth All-Commonwealth honor following a First Team recognition in 2008 and Second Team recognitions in both 2009 and 2010. The forward was third in the conference in total points (10), with a league-leading four assists.
Alvernia University took home both the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards. Senior forward Eric Franks was named Player of the Year for the Commonwealth. Franks scored three goals in conference play this year, and assisted on the game winning goal in Alvernia’s semifinal win over Lebanon Valley. He becomes the first non-Messiah player to win the award since Elizabethtown's George Crampton in 1994.
Coach of the Year Casey Moore led the Crusaders to a 6-1 league record in 2011, with their lone defeat coming to Messiah. The Crusaders advanced to the Commonwealth Championships final for the first time in program history, where they lost to the Falcons by the score of 4-1.
A complete listing of the All-Commonwealth teams is here:
First Team All-Conference
Second Team All-Conference
Player of the Year: Eric Franks, Alvernia