LEXINGTON, Ky. – Crowned Conference USA Regular-Season Champions last Friday, the No. 3 Kentucky men’s soccer team cleaned up in the league’s yearly awards on Tuesday.
JJ Williams was named C-USA Player of the Year and Offensive MVP. Jason Reyes earned the Freshman of the Year award, and Johan Cedergren picked up the Coach of the Year honor.
Kentucky led all C-USA men’s soccer teams with four award winners and six Wildcats across the 2018 Men’s Soccer All-Conference Teams. All nine programs were represented across this year’s teams.
Williams, Kalil ElMedkhar, Enrique Facusse and Aimé Mabika were the Wildcats on the All-C-USA First Team. Reyes was on the Second Team and Leon Jones was on the Third Team.
Sam Stockton and Leon Jones were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team on Monday.
Awards were decided by a vote of the conference’s nine head coaches.
JJ Williams was named Player of the Year and Offensive MVP and to First Team in recognition of his breakout season. Last season, he was named to All-C-USA Third Team. In 2018, the junior finished the regular season with a conference lead, 34 points and 14 total goals to average 0.82 per game. He was named United Soccer Coaches’ Player of the Week once and C-USA Offensive Player of the Week three times in 2018. Williams is second nationally in game-winning goals (7) and fifth in total goals.
Jason Reyes claimed the Freshman of the Year honor due to his selection to Second Team, the highest placement of a freshman this season. The forward started every game for the Wildcats and tied for sixth in the league with seven goals. Against a top-five Indiana squad, he tallied one goal and one assist and scored and assisted in the de facto league regular-season title game last Friday.
Cedergren was named C-USA Coach of the Year for the third time (2014 and 2015). The seventh-year head coach has led UK to a 15-1-1 regular season record. A highlight of the season was a win over No. 2 Indiana for the first time since 1995. In conference play, the Wildcats went 7-1 to clinch the regular-season champion title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Kentucky also reached a program-high ranking in the United Soccer Coaches’ Poll, No. 3.
Facusse totaled 12 shutouts overall to lead the conference entering the tournament. The sophomore made 45 saves for an average of 2.65 per game. Last year’s Freshman of the Year continued his success this season, helping the No. 3 Wildcats to the top seed in the tournament.
Mabika was also a critical part of the defense that totaled 12 shutouts throughout the season and the team that climbed to the top-five in the United Soccer Coaches’ poll. The redshirt sophomore tallied two goals and an assist in addition to his defensive efforts.
ElMedkhar shined for the Wildcats this season, coming in second on the team behind Williams with 24 points off eight goals and eight assists. The sophomore ended the regular season tied for fourth in the conference in total goals and tied for second in total assists.
The 2018 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Men’s Soccer Championship begins on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Charlotte’s Transamerica Field in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kentucky, Old Dominion, Charlotte, FIU, Marshall, UAB and New Mexico will compete for the tournament champion title in the seven-team, three-day championship. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. ET. All matches will be streamed on ESPN+.
In addition to the specialty awards, the head coaches also selected Second, Third and All-Freshman Teams.