Ockford Chosen as Top AAC Defender to Lead Louisville’s Men’s Soccer Honors

Ockford Chosen as Top AAC Defender to Lead Louisville’s Men’s Soccer Honors

Ockford Chosen as Top AAC Defender to Lead Louisville’s Men’s Soccer Honors


by Press Release


Posted on November 14, 2013 at 11:54 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior defender Jimmy Ockford of the Louisville men’s soccer team was honored as 2013 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year while four other Cardinals earned all-conference accolades during Thursday’s awards banquet in Frisco, Texas.

Joining Ockford (Yardley, Pa.) as First Team All-American Conference selections was sophomore forward Ricardo Velazco (Casa Grande, Ariz.) and sophomore midfielder Marlon Hairston (Jackson, Miss.), while freshman midfielder Andrew Brody (Orlando, Fla.) and freshman defender Michael DeGraffenreidt (Baltimore, Md.) were named Second Team All-American Conference honorees. Both Brody and DeGraffenreidt were also listed on the American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team.

Starting all 18 games along the backline for the 14th-ranked Cardinals, Ockford has been a key defensive presence while also providing scoring punch connecting for four goals, including three game-winners. Connecting for game-winners against top 20 foe Virginia, UCF and top 20 opponent Saint Louis, Ockford was also a key defensively as Louisville ranked among the nation’s top 30 teams in shutout percentage (27th overall). Twice this season (Sept. 23, Oct. 7) was chosen as American Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Velazco was one of the most versatile and explosive offensive players in the conference this fall leading the American in points (23), ranking second in assists with nine and placing fourth in goals with seven. Chosen as the league’s Offensive Player of the Week a conference-leading three times, Velazco scored two goals in the Cardinals’ Oct. 6 win at SMU and had one goal and two assists in the Oct. 31 victory over No. 20 Saint Louis. Overall, he led Louisville in goals, assists, points and shots.

Hairston, who started all 18 games for the Cardinals playing both in the midfield and as a forward, scored three goals with two assists. Named to the All-Big East Rookie team as a freshman last year, Hairston has six goals and five assists in his two seasons in Louisville.

Brody had a terrific rookie season with the Cardinals scoring three goals and adding eight assists while starting all 18 games in the midfield. Twice this season, he was credited with two assists in a match (vs. No. 20 Virginia and No. 8 UConn), while on Sept. 30, he was selected as the American Conference Rookie of the Week after scoring a goal and adding an assist in Louisville’s win over Temple.

DeGraffenreidt made 15 starts, including the final 13 matches of the season, while playing in 16 games overall along the Cardinals’ backline. Tabbed as the American Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30, DeGraffenreidt teamed with Ockford to anchor Louisville defensively this season. During one stretch from mid-September to mid-October, Louisville set a school record for consecutive minutes played without allowing a goal at 560. That span included a school record five straight shutouts.

Up next, No. 14 Louisville (11-4-3) will learn its NCAA Championship fate when the field of 48 teams is announced on Monday at noon ET on NCAA.com. The Cardinals have made six straight NCAA Championship appearances, including hosting matches in five of those.

Fans can follow Louisville men's soccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com/uoflmenssoccer and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UofLmenssoccer.

2013 American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Major Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Year

Romario Williams, UCF, So., F

Midfielder of the Year

Adria Beso, UConn, Jr., M

Defensive Player of the Year

Jimmy Ockford, Louisville, Sr., B

Goalkeeper of the Year

Andre Blake, UConn

Rookie of the Year

Cyle Larin, UConn, Fr., M

Coach Staff of the Year

Temple University

Team Fair Play Award

Temple University

2013 All-Conference Teams

First Team

Romario Williams, F, So., UCF *

Adria Beso, M, Jr., UConn *

Andre Blake, GK, Jr., UConn

Sergio Campbell, B, Jr., UConn

Cyle Larin, F, Fr., UConn

Marlon Hairston, M, So., Louisville

Jimmy Ockford, B, Sr., Louisville

Ricardo Velazco, F, So., Louisville

Mark Sherrod, F, RSr., Memphis

Mael Corboz, M, So., Rutgers

Ben Sweat, B, Sr., USF


Second Team

Steven Lamberta, B, UCF

George Fochive, M, Sr., UConn

Mamadou Doudou Diouf, F, Sr., UConn

Andrew Brody, M, Fr., Louisville

Michael DeGraffenreidt, B, Fr., Louisville

Liam Collins, M, Sr., Memphis

David Greczek, GK, Fr., Rutgers

Samuel Hosseini, M, Sr., USF

Lindo Mfeka, F, Fr., USF

Jared Martinelli, M, So., Temple

Robert Sagel, B, Fr., Temple


All-Rookie Team

Fernando Laverde, M, Fr., UCF

Kwame Awuah, B, Fr., UConn *

Cyle Larin, F, Fr., UConn

Andrew Brody, M, Fr., Louisville *

Michael DeGraffenreidt, B, Fr., Louisville

Raul Gonzalez, M, Fr., Memphis

David Greczek, GK, Fr., Rutgers

Erik Sa, M, Fr., Rutgers

Lindo Mfeka, M, Fr., USF

Deshawon Nembhard, B, Fr., SMU

Robert Sagel, B, Fr., Temple


* = Unanimous Selection