NewsMVNU Men's Soccer Team Signs Kenton Standout
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men's soccer team has signed Matt Ward as the team's first recruit to join the Cougars beginning with the 2003 season.
Ward, a center midfielder from Kenton, Ohio, has signed a letter of intent to further his education and continue his soccer career at MVNU. During his four-year career at Kenton High School, he scored 28 goals - the second most in school history - and added 10 assists while playing center midfielder, sweeper, stopper, and forward at different times throughout his career.
Ward, who was a unanimous selection to the Western Buckeye League First Team as both a junior and a senior, was also selected as Kenton's Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. In addition, he was a two-time Northwest District Division 2 First Team pick.
"Matt is a great start to our 2003 recruiting class," said MVNU head coach Paul Furey. "He symbolizes very much the type of player we love to have as part of our program. His excellent high school career may have just begun to tap into his complete soccer potential."
"Matt is a mature young man who knows what he wants from life and it is centered around his faith and a life of Christian service," Furey added. "Add to that his fine academic success, and there is not much more a coach could ask for from a recruit."
"I am excited about Matt signing to play at Mount Vernon Nazarene," said Kenton head coach Jamie Bartlett. "His offensive skills and the poise he uses to make his moves were unmatched in our area. He has a dynamite left foot, and he possesses a great awareness of the field as he is always thinking two or three steps ahead of everyone else."
"Matt's dedication and willingness to improve on the field have been excellent," Bartlett added. "He goes above and beyond the practice time spending his personal time training with and without the ball. He has only scratched the surface of his potential, and he will be an excellent asset to the MVNU soccer team."
In addition to his accomplishments on the soccer field, Ward was active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a member of National Honor Society. He was also a HOSTS mentor and involved in both Hardin Youth Leadership and Buckeye Boys State.
"MVNU has been my favorite school since my freshman year," said Ward of his college choice. "It has the Christian emphasis that I desired, a great staff of professors to learn from, and a reputation for Godly excellence. God has led me to this university for a reason, and I would like to follow Him there. MVNU is the university with Godly principles and life-changing ethics that I believe will help me get more than just an education for today, but an education that builds for eternal purposes."
MVNU has posted a 12-7-0 overall record so far in 2002. The Cougars will compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association East Region Tournament next week with their opponent to be determined by this weekend's NAIA Regional Tournament action.