By: Jill Wunrow (@JillWunrow)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - In a season plagued with injuries and transition, the Green Bay men's soccer team wrapped up its 2012 season with a 2-10-4 overall record and 0-4-3 record in Horizon League play and looks ahead to 2013 with its top performersreturning to the field.
The Phoenix opened its season on a high note with a 1-0 shutout victory over Northern Kentucky at Aldo Santaga Stadium August 24. The game marked a program-record 20th career shutout for senior goalkeeper Ryan Wehking (St. Louis, Mo.) and the fourth consecutive season Green Bay has opened the season with a win.
"The shutout record was a goal I've had before I even stepped foot on campus and to reach that goal and get that monkey off my back was great," said Wehking of the accomplishment. "It's also a record for the other defenders I've played with throughout my entire career here and shows a lot about the Green Bay mentality of not giving up goals."
The season-opening win was also the first for new head coach Dan Popik and the seventh consecutive regular season win for the Phoenix on its home field, dating back to Sept. 18, 2011.
Green Bay closed its opening three-game home stand with its second win of the season, a 2-1 double overtime victory over Northern Illinois University August 31.
Phoenix sophomore Kirby Allen (Appleton, Wis.) scored one of his season-high three goals late in the 63rd minute before NIU tied the contest five minutes later, forcing eventual overtime. One minute into the second overtime period, senior Alonso Flores (Chicago, Ill.) lifted Green Bay to victory with a header goal.
"We talk about set pieces and how important they are in dictating wins and losses," said Popik after the thrilling win. "I couldn't be more proud of this team with the effort they gave."
Green Bay played a program-high six double overtime contests in its 2012 season and made 17 more saves than its opponents. The Phoenix closed 2012 with a 1-1 double overtime tie against Horizon League Tournament Champion Cleveland State.
POSTSEASON HONORS: For the first time in their collegiate careers, junior Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) and freshman Jordan Dover (Ontario, Canada) earned postseason Horizon League honors for their performances in the 2012 season.
Krenzien, a midfielder for the Phoenix, picked up First Team All-League honors after making the transition from playing forward throughout his career to anchoring the midfield and defensive line for the Phoenix this season.
"The transition for me was a big change but a good mix for me being able to defend and attack," Krenzien said. "It's an honor to be recognized by other coaches and the league. It would have been great to have more success as a team but the awards show we weren't as far off in the standings as the numbers may indicate."
Krenzien led his junior class with two goals and five points while starting all 16 games for the Phoenix in 2012. The defender scored both of his goals in a 10-day span during the month of September with his first coming against regular-season Horizon League champion Detroit Sept. 14. Krenzien also added a goal for the Phoenix against Gonzaga Sept. 23, earning Nike Classic All-Tournament Team honors.
The honor marks the 10th consecutive season a Green Bay men's soccer player has been named a First Team All-League selection.
For the seventh consecutive season, a Green Bay player earned a spot on the All-Newcomer Team as freshman midfielder Jordan Dover picked up the honors for the Phoenix.
Dover led Green Bay's freshman class with one goal, one assist, three points and 13 shots while playing in 12 games for the Phoenix. Dover's lone goal of the season came in Green Bay's 1-1 double overtime tie at Valparaiso Oct. 6 while the freshman's assist was off a corner kick against Oregon State Sept. 21.
A LOOK AHEAD: Coach Popik returns four of his six top scorers in junior midfielder Ahmad Bah (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) who led the Phoenix with 35 shots and tied a team-best two assists while playing all 16 games. Forward Sam Krenzien (Wauwatosa, Wis.) led his junior class with two goals and five points while starting all 16 games for the Phoenix.
Freshman Jordan Dover (Ontario, Canada) quietly had a solid season for the Phoenix scoring one goal and registering one assist in 13 games. Defender Sebastian Xiong (Cottage Grove, Wis.) started 16 games for the Phoenix scoring one goal.
WONDERFUL WEHKING: Green Bay will look to fill the void of senior goalkeeper Ryan Wehking who has started in the net 70 games for the Phoenix and finishes his career ranked fourth on Green Bay's individual career record list in both saves (260) and goals-against average (1.16).
LEAGUE HONORS: Both of Green Bay's keepers, Wehking and Max Nimmo (Janesville, Wis.), earned Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors for their performances throughout the season. Wehking picked up the first honors of the season from the league in the opening week (Aug. 20) after his program-record 20th career shutout.
Nimmo, who was in the net five games for Green Bay after Wehking suffered an injury Aug. 31, earned Defensive Player of the Week honors after registering his first career shutout in a 0-0 double overtime scoreless draw Sept. 9 against Missouri State in the Dayton Marriott Classic.
POPIK'S TOPIKS FINALE: First year head coach Dan Popik discussed the 2012 season and what fans can expect in the future from the Green Bay men's soccer program in the final season episode of Popik's Topiks.
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