The University of Wisconsin mens soccer team celebrated the 2006 season with its annual awards banquet last week last week at the Nicholas Suites at the Kohl Center. The Badgers finished the season 9-8-2 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten with a record of 3-2-1 in conference play.
During the banquet, awards were handed out for Most Outstanding Freshman, Most Improved Player, the Wiiliam G. Reddan Spirit of Soccer Award, Defensive MVP and Offensive MVP. All awards were voted on by the players.
Kentwood, Mich., native Jon Rzepka was named the teams Most Outstanding Freshman. Rzepka played in 16 of Wisconsins 19 contests this year, including all nine after Oct. 1.
The Most Improved Player Award went to freshman Eric Conklin. From Rockford, Ill., Conklin played in 16 games this season and tied for third on the team with six points and second on the team with three goals. His biggest goal of the season came against Illinois-Chicago, which provided the 1-0 victory over the No. 7 Flames.
Senior Frank Iaizzo received the William G. Reddan Spirit of Soccer Award. The award is presented annually to the University of Wisconsin soccer player who best exemplifies Coach Bill: Reddans positive spirit of the game of soccer. Iaizzo, from Toronto, Ontario, played in two games in 2006 while recording one assist.
Fellow senior Aaron Hohlbein was named the teams Defensive MVP. A native of Middleton, Wis., Hohlbein was named a third-team All-American after starting all 19 games and logging more minutes than any non-goalkeeper on the team. He finished the season with one goal and two assists for four points.
A third senior, Reid Johnson, received the teams Offensive MVP award. Johnson played in 18 games this season, starting 14. He ranked second on the team in goals with three and third on the team in points with six. He scored game-winning goals in consecutive games against Northwestern and Western Illinois in early October.
In addition to the team awards, the mens soccer team honored its nine seniors: Hamid Afsari, William Bagayoko, Andrew Cardona, Chris Ede, Hohlbein, Iaizzo, Matt Jelacic, Johnson and Jake Settle.