Lyons lauded top coach, Yoshikoshi Defensive Player of the Year as Eagles collect All-SAC honors

Lyons lauded top coach, Yoshikoshi Defensive Player of the Year as Eagles collect All-SAC honors

VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview

VIDEO: Kensho Yoshikoshi Interview

ROCK HILL, S.C. – After winning a share of the South Atlantic Conference regular-season title, Carson-Newman men's soccer coach Stephen Lyons was named the conference's Coach of the Year and Kensho Yoshikoshi the Defensive Player of the Year as a slew of seven Eagles landed on the all-league squads.

"We've got good quality," Lyons said. "Obviously, we know we lose some big players so we've got to keep bringing in that high-level recruit that's going to push the program in the right direction. I think it's good that the guys that made the All-Conference teams get the recognition and I think that shows that the program is improving. We just want to keep going in one direction and keep getting better and better."

Lyons is the fourth coach in program history to receive the nod from the conference and the first since 2015. Overall, C-N coaches have been tabbed with the accolade eight times.

On its way to a 10th SAC title, Carson-Newman attained its highest national ranking in four years sitting at No. 13 near the end of October. It ran with a pair of four-match streaks without a loss and went 1-0-1 against nationally-ranked sides, the win being over a No. 15 Coker side on Oct. 12. Despite a 5-1 loss to eighth-seeded Coker in the SAC Quarterfinals, the Eagles still led the league with 326 shots and 125 corners.

In his third season with the Eagles, Lyons' group amassed a 10-4-3 record, the first double-digit wins season since 2015. The Orange and Blue exceeded the league's expectations set prior to the season when it slated to finish at seventh in the SAC's preseason coaches' poll. C-N went 6-1-3 in conference action with a .750 winning-percentage, its best since 2015 when it tallied a .818 clip.

The Eagles were third in the league for scoring with 35 goals and second with 31 assists. Their defensive unit allowed just 20 goals throughout the season with five clean sheets.

"I think it's more of a coaching staff award," Lyons said. "Great staff and then credit to the guys, you know, they've done the hard work on the pitch, so it's nice to see it paying off. Obviously, they've got some other good accolades for Kenny and the guys, so again, happy with it. We know we'd all rather be playing at this point, but just look to build on it now and keep going forward."

This is the first postseason conference accolade the coach has received in his time with the Eagles. The same can be said for Yoshikoshi. The senior is the fifth Eagles be named the top player in the SAC since 1991, giving the program six Player of the Year awards in that time. Yoshikoshi is the first Eagle to be awarded the honor since the league began celebrating the top defensive and offensive players in 2018. As for team history, the Tokyo, Japan-native is the first Eagle since Ross Frame in 2013 to receive the laurel.

Yoshikoshi scored three goals on the season to push his career total to five, all coming on headers. He logged a career day in the 4-2 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne on Oct. 2, scoring both of C-N's goals in the match. His five goals paired with three assists, one coming this season against Lincoln Memorial, gave him 13 points in his career. For a second-consecutive season, the defender started in all 17 matches played by C-N this season, giving him 34 starts in all 34 of C-N's matches during his career.

He received his first-ever SAC AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Week laurel on Nov. 5 and was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection just two days later.

"I'm so happy and really proud of myself," Yoshikoshi said. "Again, I think it's a team effort, especially defensive stuff. We need to work together so I appreciate everyone.

"I think I learned a lot these two years, especially for defender -- needs to be patient and, of course, I need a stronger body, communication, especially in English. Everything in my effort is coming through this result so I'm so happy."

Of the seven Eagles spreading the wealth on the All-SAC lists this season, Yoshikoshi is one of two Eagles to land a spot on the first-team list.

Joining Yoshikoshi on the first team is goalkeeper Bram Kaarsgaren (Den Bosch, The Netherlands).

In his debut season with the Eagles, Kaarsgaren made 15 starts in 16 appearances while racking up a 9-4-3 record. His nine wins tie for ninth in program history for wins in a single season. He was third in the conference with 71 saves, a 0.789 saving clip, 19 goals against and a 1.13 goals against average.

Kaarsgaren tallied 4.1 shutouts in his debut season with the Orange and Blue. He made a season-high 10 saves in a 2-1 win over Queens on Oct. 5. The junior was tabbed a SAC AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Week twice throughout the season, making him the second keeper in program history to receive the accolade but the first to receive the laurel twice in one season.

Thaylan Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Will Sainsbury-Logan (Norwich, England) and Nic Carsh (Newberg, Ore.) landed spots on the second team, all receiving their first All-SAC nods.

Silva started in 15 of his 17 appearances on the pitch this season. He led the SAC through the regular season with eight assists, tying him for eighth-most in a season in program history. The junior connected for five goals on the year, two of those coming from penalty kicks. The forward's two successful PKs tied him for the sixth-most in a season in team history. He led the team with 18 points.

Like Silva, Sainsbury-Logan was a consistent starter for the Eagles this season, starting in 14 of his 16 matches played as a midfielder. The redshirt-sophomore collected a career-high three points in the 7-0 win over North Greenville in the season opener on a goal and an assist. He totaled three goals on the season.

Carsh had a breakout year in his second season with the Orange and Blue after not stepping foot onto the pitch last year. The sophomore played in 16 matches this season with five appearances in the Starting XI. He scored three goals, including the game-winner in the 103rd minute to take down No. 15 Coker, helping him to pick up his first-ever SAC AstroTurf Offensive Player of the Week accolade on Oct. 15. The midfielder's season-high outing came in the 3-1 win over Newberry on Sept. 21 when he tallied three points on a goal and assist.

Rounding out the slew of Eagles on the All-SAC lists are forwards Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norwary) and Sofian Maghouz (London, England).

Solem Karlsen has been no stranger to the All-SAC, receiving a nod for the third-straight season but his first as an Honorable Mention after being a first-team selection the past two seasons. This season, he added on a pair of Player of the Week accolades, one from the SAC and one from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, after scoring four goals in the season-opener at North Greenville. That performance tied him for the second-most goals scored in a single game in program history.

Making 15 starts in his 17 appearances, the senior netted a pair of game-winning goals on the season to co-lead the team and move him into a tie for the most in a career in C-N history at 12. His seven goals on the season gave him a career total of 29, enough to stand alone at seventh on the program's career goals list with 29.

Maghouz made a splash in his first year at Mossy Creek, scoring three goals with an assist for seven points. Like Solem Karlsen, the freshman also brought in a pair of game-winners this season. He was tabbed the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week on Oct. 9 following a two-goal outing in the 2-1 win over Queens on Oct. 5.

With the latest All-SAC accolades, Carson-Newman moves to 118 selections all-time.


2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Soccer All-Conference

First Team

F – Paul Ngongo, Wingate

F – Henrique Devens, Tusculum

F – Ibrahim Nadir, Newberry

F – Jacques Fokam-Sandeu, Coker

MF – Christian Provenzano, Coker

MF – Elliot Cutts, Wingate

MF – David Alvarez, Queens

MF – Mikkel Fahlen bruun, Wingate

D – Michael Hornsby, Queens

D – Kensho Yoshikoshi, Carson-Newman

D – Owen Marshall, Wingate

D – Alan Brandao, Lincoln Memorial

GK – Bram Kaarsgaren, Carson-Newman

Second Team

F – Victor Cascon, Lenoir-Rhyne

F – Thaylan Silva, Carson-Newman

F – Harry Ward, Anderson

F – Caio Brandao, Queens

MF – Keegan Burton, Queens

MF – Danilo Seglio, Lincoln Memorial

MF – Will Sainsbury-Logan, Carson-Newman

MF – Nic Carsh, Carson-Newman

D – Georgios Charkoutsakis, Tusculum

D – Ryan Tyrer, Anderson

D – Sam Ottley, Newberry

D – Robi Obrstar, Coker

GK – Jens Bergendorff, Wingate

Honorable Mention

F – Goncalo Garcia, Lenoir-Rhyne

F – Tobias Solem Karlsen, Carson-Newman

F – Sofian Maghouz, Carson-Newman

F – Alexander Cox-Ashwood, Anderson

MF – Boris Basara, Queens

MF – Fabian Proesch, Tusculum

MF – Hunter Stroble, Lincoln Memorial

MF – Ben Bielby, Catawba

D – Monoel Dos passos, Queens

D – Clement Dagorn, Tusculum

D – Jeppe Christensen, Mars Hill

D – Dani Gongora, Tusculum

GK – Sebastian Kalk, Queens


Offensive Player of the Year

Paul Ngongo, Wingate

Defensive Player of the Year

Kensho Yoshikoshi, Carson-Newman

Freshman of the Year

Paul Ngongo, Wingate

Coach of the Year

Stephen Lyons, Carson-Newman

Fair Play Award

Lincoln Memorial

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