2008 Men's Soccer
Flath and Graham named first team All-HCAC
Four Beavers honored by Heartland Conference coaches
November 13, 2008
|BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference recently announced the recipients of All-HCAC honors for the 2008 season. Four Bluffton University men's soccer players were awarded for their play on the pitch this year. Senior Nate Flath (Wadsworth) and sophomore Jacob Graham (Gomer/Elida) were named first team All-HCAC by the coaches for their play. Sophomore Nolan Phelps (Monroe/Lemon-Monroe) and freshman Justin Ryerson (Perrysburg) were tabbed as second team selections for 2008.|
Nate Flath, who was also first team All-HCAC as a sophomore in 2006, capped off his brilliant career at Bluffton as the top scorer in the Heartland Conference during his senior campaign with 34 total points. He paced the HCAC in both goals (12) and assists (10) while pushing the Beavers to their best record since 1993. The senior took a conference high 67 shots and knocked in three game-winners. Flath was a perfect 2-of-2 on penalty kicks this season.
For his career, Flath's 33 goals place him fourth all-time at Bluffton while his 18 assists are just one shy of all-time Bluffton leader Tony Brown's 19 assists. The senior forward started 61 of the 62 contests he played in as a Beaver. Flath was 8-of-9 on penalty kicks during his career and he buried six game-winning shots for Bluffton. His 10 assists in 2008 established a new single-season mark for the Beavers.
|Bluffton sophomore Jacob Graham picked up his first All-Heartland Conference award following a season in which he finished second in the HCAC, behind teammate Nate Flath, with 10 goals. The midfielder started 16 matches and added an assist for 21 points on 33 total shots. He has 12 career goals and three assists after two years with the Beavers. Graham notched his first career hat trick in Bluffton's 10-1 victory over Taylor-Ft. Wayne and he followed that with a pair of scores in Bluffton's 3-1 win at Defiance.|
|Nolan Phelps was named second team All-HCAC following his sophomore year at Bluffton. The lockdown defender started 15 matches for the Beavers, bringing his career total to 30 starts in 32 matches for Bluffton. He finished the year with one goal, a penalty kick, and two assists for a total of four points. Phelps took 10 shots from his position at the back of the Bluffton defense. He was a key ingredient in Bluffton's 44-32 edge in goals scored to goals allowed this season.|
|The final Bluffton men's soccer player to be recognized as second team All-HCAC was Justin Ryerson. The standout freshman started 13 contests for the Beavers, scoring a pair of goals and handing out an assist for a total of five points. The crafty ball handler took 32 shots on the season and ripped the game-winner in Bluffton's 4-1 season opening victory over Moody Bible.|
With the season capping 2-1 win over HCAC heavyweight Transylvania, the Beavers established a new Bluffton mark with a 4-4 record in the conference. Bluffton's eight victories (8-8-1) are the most since the 1994 squad went 8-10 overall. Transylvania, which had been undefeated against the Bluffton University men, won the first seven meetings between the two schools by a cumulative score of 32-1. Full statistics and information on the 2008 men's soccer season are available online at www.blufftonbeavers.com/menssoccer.