December 6, 2006
Spartanburg, S.C. - Four USC Upstate men's soccer players have been selected to the NSCAA All-Southeast Region Team, announced the NSCAA. Earning All-Region honors were Nick Buxton, Ryan Cooper, Troy Mellanson, and Liam Slack. Buxton, Cooper, and Slack were first team selections, while Mellanson was a second team pick.
The four Spartans helped lead USC Upstate to a 12-3-3 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the 10th in the 16-year history of USC Upstate's membership in NCAA Division II. USC Upstate is in its final year of membership in Division II and the Peach Belt Conference and will transition to NCAA Division I status and membership in the Atlantic Sun Conference next year.
Buxton (So., D, Towcester, England) was the captain of the defense and played as the team's sweeper. He helped the defense record 10 shutouts and a team 0.63 goals against average on the year. A versatile player, he moved into the center of the midfield during the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and NCAA Tournament to help fill voids left by injuries to other Spartans. He finished the year fifth on the team in scoring with nine points on three goals and three assists. He also earned All-Conference honors and was named to the Daktronics All-Region squad.
Cooper (Sr., GK, Miami, Fla.) was the premiere goalkeeper in the Peach Belt this season. He led the league and currently ranks fourth in the nation with a 0.49 goals against average. He leads the nation with an .887 save percentage and ranks second in the conference with eight shutouts. He played the majority of minutes in the other two shutouts for the Spartans, though NCAA rules prohibit sharing of shutouts. He finished his two-year career at USC Upstate with 16.5 shutouts (goalkeepers could share shutouts last season) and a 0.53 goals against average, the best in school history. He earned All-Conference honors this season and was also a Daktronics All-Region pick.
Mellanson (F/M, Jr., St. John's, Antigua) had a strong year for the Spartans, finishing second on the team in scoring with 23 points on nine goals and five assists. He played both the forward and midfield positions. He ranked sixth in the Peach Belt in scoring, seventh in goals scored, tied for 10th in assists, and sixth with three match-winning goals. An All-Region selection at NAIA Indiana Wesleyan, Mellanson was a Peach Belt All-Conference selection this season.
Slack (Sr., F, Doncaster, England) finished a stellar four-year career at USC Upstate this season. A two-time All-American, Slack finished his career with 143 points and ranks third all-time on USC Upstate's career scoring list. His 57 goals is the third-beast mark in school history. He will also go down as the fourth-leading scorer in Peach Belt Conference history. He led USC Upstate in scoring in each of the last two seasons, including this year when he scored 11 goals and added five assists for 27 points. He had three match-winning goals this season and recorded 10 in his career. He ranks fourth in the conference in scoring and third in goals. He is a four-time NSCAA All-Region selection, and earned All-Conference and Daktronics All-Region honors this year.
The Peach Belt Conference placed 16 players on the 33-player Southeast Region All-Region first, second, or third teams. The first team All-Region selections are among the nominees for All-America consideration.