MEDFORD, Mass. – After leading the Tufts University men's soccer team to a Final Four appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the second time in the last three seasons, senior standouts Gaston Becherano, Daniel Sullivan and Zach Halliday all garnered 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) NCAA Division III Men's All-New England Region honors, as announced by the NSCAA on Thursday.
Becherano was named to the All-New England Region First Team, while Sullivan and Halliday earned second- and third-team recognition, respectively. Becherano was not satisfied with the one honor, as he also was named to the 2016 NSCAA NCAA Division III Men's All-America Third Team.
The three athletes have been a model of consistency for the men's soccer program, as they have led the squad to a combined 49-17-11 record and a 24-8-8 mark in NESCAC play during their four-year collegiate careers. They have also led the squad to NCAA Tournament appearances in three of those four years, including hoisting the program's first-ever national championship in 2014.
Becherano, who earned 2016 All-NESCAC First Team honors, has been the key to the Jumbos' offensive attack all season long, as the Hollywood, Florida, native has registered three multi-goal games and has scored at least one goal in nine games this season.
The senior forward earned NESCAC Men's Soccer Player of the Week recognition on Oct. 17, as he leads the Jumbos in goals (12), points (25) and game-winning tallies (seven). He leads the NESCAC Conference in game-winners, while ranking No. 2 in total goals and points on the season.
The Jumbos' identity, under seventh-year head coach Josh Shapiro, has always been tough defense, and no one represents that quality better than Sullivan. The senior back has helped organize the defensive scheme, as the Jumbos shut out four consecutive opponents in the NCAA Tournament. The team has totaled 12 shutouts in 20 games, while only allowing more than one goal on three occasions.
Sullivan, who was named to the 2016 NESCAC All-Conference First Team, scored a goal in a 2-2 tie against visiting Hamilton on Oct. 2 and assisted on senior captain Nathan Majumder's game-winner in a 1-0 victory over No. 9 Rowan University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 13. The Brooklyn, New York, native has helped the Jumbos boast a sensational 0.53 goals-against average, which ranks No. 1 in the conference and No. 8 among all Division III institutions in the country.
Halliday, who has been an on-field general and leader for the Jumbos from the midfield position throughout his career, has provided leadership and direction for the squad this season, as the team has received strong contribution from all seven first-year players.
The senior captain and third-year starter garnered 2016 All-NESCAC Second Team recognition, as he tallied an assist during a 3-0 victory over conference-rival Amherst on Oct. 1 and during a 2-2 draw against Hamilton.
The Jumbos (14-5-2, 6-2-2 in NESCAC) defeated No. 8 St. Thomas (Minn.), 2-1, in semifinal-round action of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Salem, Virginia. The squad will compete in the national-championship game Sunday against No. 16 Calvin College at 1:30 p.m. in Salem, Virginia.