Messiah College didn’t win a national championship in men’s or women’s soccer in 2018, but both programs still made an impact on the national stage, sweeping the national player of the year awards for Division III for the fourth time over the past decade.
Nick West became the eighth player in Division III history to record 30 goals, leading all three divisions of NCAA men’s soccer in the category for 2018. He’s the 10th men’s soccer player at Messiah to be named National Player of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches.
“I thought the 31 goals that (Adrian) Oostdyke scored in ‘73 was simply untouchable, but Nick showed that it necessarily wasn’t,” head coach Brad McCarty said of the East Hampton, New York native in a press release. “Nick’s work rate and his area of influence allowed him to score in a variety of different ways. He can score in the run of play, via the system, via his teammate, on breakaways, on free kicks, off corners, and on penalty kicks.”
Delaney “DJ” Cole achieved the honor as a defender, becoming the sixth women’s soccer player at the Central Pa. college to get the nation’s highest honor for Division III. The Lebanon, Pa. native and Cedar Crest High School grad was also named a first-team All-American for the second season.
“For a defender to be recognized with this award, it means that you were that good,” women’s head coach Scott Frey said in a news release about Cole. “She’s been that impactful over the last few years. She was more than just a defender for us and would impact our attack in a number of ways. It’s a well deserving honor.”
Cole and West are the 15th and 16th national players of the year for the school’s soccer programs, all awarded over the past 17 years.
The last duo to sweep the award was Jeremy Payne and Alex Brandt in 2012. Geoff Pezon and Amanda Naeher did it in 2010 and JD Binger and Naeher in 2008.
Messiah Soccer National Players of the Year
2002 - Hayden Woodworth
2005 - David McClellan
2007 - Kai Kasiguran
2008 - Amanda Naeher and JD Binger
2009 - Erin Hench
2010 - Amanda Naeher and Geoff Pezon
2012 - Alex Brandt and Jeremy Payne
2013 - Josh Wood
2014 - Jeremy Payne
2015 - Nikki Elsaesser
2016 - Jacob Bender
2018 - DJ Cole and Nick West