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Smolens Earns ECAC DIII Metro Coach Of The Year Honors; Yingling Named First Team ECAC All-Star

Smolens Earns ECAC DIII Metro Coach Of The Year Honors; Yingling Named First Team ECAC All-Star

DANBURY, Conn. (Nov. 30, 2016) – On Wednesday, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) announced the postseason honorees and the ECAC All-Stars for the 2016 men's soccer season and two members of the USMMA program were recognized. Head Coach Michael Smolens was named the 2016 ECAC DIII Metro Coach of the Year and senior forward Gavin Yingling (Salisbury, Md.) was selected as a First Team ECAC All-Star.
 
Yingling finished the season with a team- and Skyline Conference-best 20 goals and 42 points. He was named the Skyline Offensive Player of the Year and to the First Team All-Skyline back in early November. His 20 goals ranks eighth among all Division III players, while his 42 points is good for 14th in the nation. Seven of the senior's goals this year were game winners, a mark that ranked first in the Skyline and fourth in the country.
 
"In my 27 years as coach here, we have not had a player put in as much time as Gavin has on his own to work on becoming a more proficient goal scorer," commented Smolens. "Certainly that work has paid off for him and our team. Gavin has come through so many times in key moments for us since he walked through Vickery Gate that he deserves every accolade he receives."
 
For Smolens, this is his second coaching honor of the season, as he was chosen by his peers as the Skyline Coach of the Year back in early November. He guided the Mariners to the Skyline regular season and tournament championship, earning the program its sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament under his tenure. This is his 14th Coach of the Year honor of Smolens' career – he is also a 10-time Skyline recipient, one-time Landmark Conference winner and two-time NSCAA regional winner.
 
"I am very lucky to have such outstanding coaches with whom I get to work as John Fitzgerald and Geoff Cochrane," said Smolens. "Each of them has played a vital role in our team achieving success, and by working together we have been able to help our team reach our goals. It is terrific we have received this honor, but we all recognize that without our players putting in such a strong effort, we could not have won this award."
 
For the complete release from the ECAC, click here.
 
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