VIDEO: Samuel Jenkins Interview
ROCK HILL, S.C. – In the South Atlantic Conference's annual preseason accolade list, Carson-Newman was represented by a league-high five players, as announced on Monday morning.
A pair of Eagles landed on the first team while a trio of Orange and Blue players were tabbed second-teamers. This marks the sixth time since 2006 that five C-N players have been named to preseason teams. It's the second-highest number of Eagles named just behind the seven who were tabbed preseason All-Conference back in 2010.
On the second team side, Ashley Kelynack (High Wycombe, England), Jonny Le Quesne (Jersey, Channel Islands) and Twan Verweij (Utrecht, Netherlands) all moved up from the honorable mention list from the end of the 2017 campaign.
Karlsen had a stellar sophomore campaign that saw him scoring 11 goals in 14 games played before an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He was the group's co-leader for goals while holding a team-best five game-winners, a number that was second-most in the SAC and 16th-most in the nation. That tally also moved him to second in an individual season for program history.
"I've always been a natural leader and I feel like I can try to get the team with me, keep it going and I think we can do something big this season," Karlsen said.
Last season, Karlsen was one of the most awarded players on Stephen Lyons' squad, bringing in a pair of Player of the Week laurels thanks to two separate hat tricks. He also received a Tennessee Sports Writers Association Men's Soccer Player of the Week award. His pair of remarkable hat tricks made him the first Eagle to score multiple hat tricks in a season.
"(Preparation has been about) getting back to feeling of when you know it's going to hit the goal," Karlsen assessed. "When you have that feeling, basically no one can stop you and that's how I felt last season. I got into the flow and the only thing that potentially maybe could have stopped that was an injury and that unfortunately happened."
Jenkins served as co-captain of last year's team with starts in all 17 of the games Carson-Newman played. He leads the defense heading into his final year with the Eagles after playing a crucial part in the team's astounding nine clean sheets a season ago.
"It's definitely nice to get recognized," Jenkins said," but, at this point, the important thing is just getting ready as a team so we can kick on for the first game of the season."
Kelynack and Le Quesne were quick to provide helping hands on goals last season with the pair leading the team in assists with five apiece.
"I think we just want to build on the positives from last year defensively and then integrate the new guys coming," Jenkins mentioned. "We've got a lot of depth this year, defensive line especially, so just getting them up to scratch and getting everyone together."
���������� @CNmenssoccer leads the way for players on the preseason All-@SAC_Athletics teams released this morning with five Eagles named.— C-N Athletics (@CNathletics) August 20, 2018
Congratulations to the second-team selections:
Ashley Kelynack, Jonny Le Quesne and @CTVerweij pic.twitter.com/8b8JS35OJf
This season, Kelynack could build on the three goals he scored in 2017, this time splitting time at the forward and midfield position. He has found the back of the net five times in his career.
Last season, Kelynack scored three points on three separate occasions. He accounted for a goal and assist in matches against Clayton State, Newberry and Anderson before missing four games in the later part of the season due to an injury.
"The more depth, the more competition you have, the better people will get anyway so if you have one behind you or beside you or in front of you that would push you, it will push you even further," Karlsen remarked. "So, hopefully, the connection with me and Ash and even with some of the newcomers can be pretty good. I believe we can do some danger to some defenses in the SAC and postseason."
As for Le Quesne, he showed just how versatile of a competitor he was last season, playing as a midfielder and defender with 15 starts in 16 appearances. His lone goal last season came against Queens, notching the game-winning goal in the 2-0 victory.
This season, Le Quesne will move more into the midfielder spot, adding to the depth found there.
Verweij made a name for himself in the conference during his inaugural season with the Eagles, starting in 15 of his 16 matches played to take an 8-7-1 record. He was tabbed the league's AstroTurf Player of the Week during the middle of the season, marking the first time in program history that a pair of Eagles were given the honor with his accolade coming a week after Karlsen.
Verweij was the leading man in the league for shutouts with 8.1, placing him at fourth in program history for an individual season and sixth on the career records list. He also finished the year at 16th in the nation for the stat.
His 52 saves last season put him at 10th on the career records list for the program. The most saves he made in a game were 12 against Young Harris. In the same game, he faced a season-high 24 shots.
The Eagles open the season on Sept. 1 with a road trip to Morrow, Ga. to take on Clayton State. That match is set to begin at 7 p.m.
2018 SAC MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
F – Ignacio de Goya, Lenoir-Rhyne
F – Edmundo Robinson, Queens
F – Elliot Cutts, Wingate
F – Tobias Solem Karlsen, Carson-Newman
MF – Mattia Ditommaso, Wingate
MF – Florian Simon, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Cameron Emerson, Anderson
MF – Victor Cascon, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Emil Tansinda, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Oscar Mitchell, Mars Hill
D – Michael Hornsby, Queens
D – Samuel Jenkins, Carson-Newman
GK – Pablo Jara, Wingate
F – Ashley Kelynack, Carson-Newman
F – Edgar Cervantes, Tusculum
F – Aladdin Elfares, Coker
F – Victor Peres, Lincoln Memorial
MF – Felipe de Sousa, Lincoln Memorial
MF – Fabrizio Bucco, Newberry
MF – Cam Macer, Mars Hill
MF – Liam Doyle, Queens
D – Christoph Willemsen, Lincoln Memorial
D – Jonny Le Quesne, Carson-Newman
D – Robbie Jenkinson, Coker
D – Georgios Charkoutsakis, Tusculum
GK – Twan Verweij, Carson-Newman