Phoenix Seniors Reflect on Careers and 2011 Season
By: Jill Wunrow and Katie Phernetton
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay (11-7-1, 5-3 HL) men's soccer team wrapped up its 2011 season advancing to the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship while having four players selected to the All-League Teams.
With the end of another season, the Phoenix bids farewell to its four seniors, Second Team All-League selection Stuart Grable (Neenah, Wis.), AJ Konchar (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Tony Patterson (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and Horizon League Player of the Year Tony Walls (Wauwatosa, Wis.).
The class of Grable, Konchar, Patterson and Walls has combined for 32 goals, 12 game-winning goals and 29 assists throughout 76 contests while aiding Green Bay to its first-ever Horizon League Tournament Championship in 2009, followed by the program's second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
In Horizon League play, the class of 2011 has won three Chancellor's Cup meetings and just this season led Green Bay to its first victory on the road at Cleveland State for the first time in their careers.
With an overall record of 44-21-11 and 21-11-2 in conference play, Grable, Konchar, Patterson and Walls have always helped their team finish among the top four in the regular-season Horizon League standings in addition to finishing their careers with an impressive combined record of 6-2 against in-state rivals Wisconsin and Milwaukee.
Individually,had best season of his collegiate career during his senior season. Grable finished the 2011 season leading the Phoenix and Horizon League with seven assists and was a Second Team All-League selection for the first time in his career. A Horizon League All-Tournament Team selection, Grable played in every game since joining the Phoenix in 2008 while starting in 60 games since his sophomore year. One of the most versatile players for the Phoenix, during his senior campaign, the captain was awarded the annual Aldo Santaga Scholarship which recognizes a senior who has demonstrated academic and athletic excellence throughout his career.
Konchar has been an asset to the Phoenix both on and off the field throughout his entire career, the three-time Horizon League Academic Honor Roll selection has appeared in 66 games for Green Bay while starting 10. Konchar has registered eight goals during his career with the Phoenix while scoring a career-high five during his sophomore campaign. In addition, he was voted by his teammates for scoring the goal of the year in Green Bay's double overtime win against UIC Oct. 10, 2009. During his junior season, the 6'2" forward registered three goals with two of them being game winners.
Patterson has played in 67 games for the Phoenix while starting every game since his sophomore campaign. The 5'9" midfielder has started a total of 57 contests, including Green Bay's NCAA Tournament game against Notre Dame in 2009. Throughout his career, Patterson has fired 27 shots on goal while netting four. During his sophomore season, Patterson scored a career high two goals in a four game span including the game-winning goal at Robert Morris.
Horizon League Player of the Year and First Team All-League selection, Tony Walls, finished his career leading the Phoenix with seven goals during his senior campaign. Walls' seven goals were also the fourth best among players in the Horizon League. Walls scored 18 total goals throughout his career, including the program's only goal ever scored in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. This season Walls was ranked as high as No. 21 in the weekly TopDrawerSoccer.com Poll, the highest among any player in the Horizon League.
The three-time First Team All-League selection has appeared in 74 games for the Phoenix and during his junior campaign was named to the Herman Trophy Watch List. The 5'11" midfielder was selected to TopDrawerSoccer.com's All-Rookie First Team during his freshman season and has since been a two-time NSCAA Great Lakes All-Region selection his sophomore and junior seasons.