Four Minutemen Earn A-10, Regional Postseason Honors
Nov. 2, 2006
AMHERST, Mass. - Highlighted by junior defender Kenny Cook (Fairport, N.Y.) being named to the Atlantic 10 First Team men's soccer squad, UMass placed four players on A-10 and Regional postseason honor teams. In addition to Cook, freshman forward Bryan Hogan (Lititz, Pa.) was named to the league's All-Rookie Team and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Zack Simmons (Durham, N.H.) was named to the Honorable Mention Team. Simmons was additionally named to the Academic All-Conference Squad and along with sophomore midfielder Michael Connolly (Amherst, Mass.) was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I Team.
Cook became the first men's soccer player since Ptah Myers in 2003 to be named to the A-10 First Team. In 2005, he was named to the leagues All-Conference Second Team. After starting all 19 games this season, Cook was a major factor in helping the UMass defense pitch a school record 10 shutouts allowing just 19 goals and a 0.96 goals against average for the season. Those 19 goals allowed were the second fewest since the 2000 season. He was second on the team with 1,733 minutes played and has started the last 39 consecutive games. In the non-conference season, cook was named to both the Navy Classic and UMass Invitational All-Tournament Teams. From Aug. 27 to Sept. 17, the Minutemen went 566 minutes, 55 seconds without allowing a single goal.
Simmons had a breakout year in net for UMass where he set the single-season school record for shutouts (10) and with 14 for his career is just three shy of setting the career mark. During the opening stretch of the season, Simmons was a major factor in the Minutemen earning a No. 22 national ranking as he helped UMass to its best start at 6-0-1. For the season, he posted a 0.96 goals against average, had a .826 save percentage making 90 saves, and led the team in minutes played at 1,772:24. He led the A-10 in shutouts and saves, was tied for first in goals against average and ranked second in save percentage. Nationally he ranked 16th in save percentage and 26th in saves while the team ranked 11th in shutout percentage and 14th in save percentage. UMass also led the A-10 in every defensive category. Simmons, a former walk-on, was a two-time A-10 Performer of the Week - one of just four Minutemen to earn the honor multiple times in one season. He was also named the ECAC Keeper of the Week, the Navy Classic MVP, and to the SoccerTimes.com Team of the Week.
As a freshman, Hogan led UMass in scoring with four goals and eight points. Of those four goals, three were game winners. He was named to the UMass Invitational Tournament Team after scoring his first career game-winning goal against Siena. He also scored the game-winning goal on the road at Dayton in UMass' third A-10 game of the season.
Along with Simmons, Connolly was selected as a member of the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I Team. Simmons was named to the All-District First Team, while Connolly was named to the All-District Second Team. To be nominated, student-athletes must maintain a 3.2 or higher cumulative grade point average and play in at least 50 percent of the team's contests. As an All-District First Team member, Simmons will now be eligible for the Academic All-America Team.
Connolly played in 14 games this season making two starts. A versatile player for the Minutemen, the sophomore saw action at forward, midfielder, and defender. His efforts on defense in place of injured back Brendon Ferullo against Temple was key in UMass' 2-0 win over the Owls. For the season, he finished with one assist - recorded against Temple - giving him three for his career. An economics major, Connolly led the team with a perfect 4.0 GPA, while Simmons a history and economics double-major was just behind with a 3.98 grade point average.
The Minutemen concluded their season with an 8-8-3 overall record. UMass loses just three seniors heading into the 2007 season and return all but one point offensively. Defensively, UMass returns three of its four back row players anchored by Cook and Simmons in net.