NewsMVNU to Honor Two Men's Soccer Seniors on Saturday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The two seniors on the Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s soccer team will be honored at halftime of the Cougars’ final regular-season home match on Saturday afternoon versus Shawnee State University.
Brian Souder and Jamie Hilen have helped the program post a 50-26-6 record over the past four years for a .646 winning percentage. MVNU advanced to the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament in 2002 and finished third. The Cougars also reached the NAIA Region IX Tournament semifinals in 2001, and the team posted its first-ever unbeaten season at home with a 10-0-1 mark in 2003. This year, the team has posted an 8-7-3 overall record.
Souder, a midfielder from Mansfield, Ohio, has played in 79 career matches with 54 career starts. During his career, the former Mansfield Christian High School star has scored five goals and ranks seventh in school history with 23 assists. This season, Souder has started 13 of the 14 matches in which he has played and has tallied five assists.
"Brian has been a solid, steady performer for us in the center midfield during his career here,” said MVNU head coach Paul Furey. "He’s been a smart, smooth, unselfish player, who has often not received the accolades and honors, but has been an invaluable part of our success. He is a total team player who puts his teammates above himself and just quietly and efficiently fulfills his role to help us win. He has been - in many ways and many matches - our unsung hero.”
"The great team player on the field translates into the type of player that Brian is off the field,” Furey added. "He’s one of the nicest, kindest, giving individuals you will ever meet. We will miss his smooth playmaking abilities, tenacious hard work, and great field vision next year. However, more than that, we will miss his warm spirit, unselfish attitude, and his ability to show us what it means to be a great friend.”
Hilen, a defender from West Chester, Ohio, has played in 75 career matches with 56 career starts. During his career, the former Lakota East High School standout has helped the Cougars’ defense post 31 shutouts. Hilen has recorded one goal and one assist in his career, and he was named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in 2002 as well as being selected to the American Mideast Conference South Division Honorable Mention Team last year. This season, he has started all 18 matches and is second on the team in minutes played (1,613).
"Jamie is closing out an outstanding career as our central defender and anchor to our back line that has secured 31 shutouts during his time here,” said Furey. "He has been a stalwart defender, who sees the game extremely well, uses his body and speed effectively to shut down attackers, and has a composed, crafty touch on the ball to help the buildup from the back.”
"This year, in addition to Jamie’s technical and tactical abilities, he has brought solid leadership to a predominantly young team,” Furey added. "He has matured as a player and has shown our younger guys how to play the game intensely but under control. It has been great to see the growth in Jamie as a person and a player at MVNU. He is well-respected and loved by his teammates and his coaches.”
MVNU’s AMC South Division match against Shawnee State will kick off at noon at Cougar Field.