After leading the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the NESCAC during the regular season, an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament and a spot in the Sweet-16 after two NCAA wins, Head Coach Geoff Wheeler (photo insert lower right) added National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) New England West Region Coach of the Year honors to his accolades in 2009. He had been named NESCAC Coach of the Year in November.
Joining Coach Wheeler as NSCAA honorees are three Weseyan stalwarts who all previously garnered first-team All-NESCAC honors - goalie Adam Purdy '13 (#30, photo upper left), who was also NESCAC Rookie of the Year ; Midfielder Nick Whipple '10 (#11, photo insert lower left) and middie Woody Redpath '10 (#21, photo insert upper right). All three were named first-team NSCAA All-New England West with Redpath also picking up second-team All-America laurels and Purdy finding a spot on the third team. They are Wesleyan's second and third All-Americans in the last four years as Jared Ashe '07 was a second-team pick in 2006, Wesleyan's last visit to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Purdy led the NESCAC in save percentage (.886) and goal-against average (0.50) while logging 10 shutouts. His save percentage and goal-against average ranked eight and ninth, respectively, in Division III. He helped the 2009 Cardinals establish a school record for shutouts in a season with 12 while opening the year with a Wesleyan-record 15-game unbeaten streak (11-0-4).
Redpath worked his way up to a starting roll in 2008 after playing just 14 of 32 games his first two years. Last year he played all 15 contests with 13 starts and logged an assist. This year, he started all 19 contests as a defensive middie and got his first point of the season vs. St. Joe's of Maine with an assist in the second round of the NCAA tournament. He also is a high-powered forward on the men's ice hockey team during the winter.
Whipple, a team tri-captain, was a starter since he arrived in Middletown in 2006 and had three goals and three assists this season. Playing in all possible 66 games with 63 starts over four seasons, Whipple amassed eight goals and 10 assists for 26 career points.
Coach Wheeler, who received his first NESCAC Coach of the Year honor when he led the Cardinals to a NESCAC Tournament title in 2005 and the team's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, has guided the squad to seven winning seasons out of 11 in his career, three NCAA tournament spots and a cumulative record of 95-64-17 over his 11 campaigns.
(action photos courtesy of Peter Stein '84)