The trio of Rafael Mentzingen, Jordan Dunstan, and Charlie Clarke helped make history for the Bryan College Lions Men’s Soccer team as the largest group to earn All-American honors from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Mentzingen’s second team distinction marked the only the second time in history and first time in 39 years that a member of the Bryan Lions Men’s Soccer team has landed on either the first or second team. Dating back to 2006, Dunstan and Clarke are two of only seven Lions to be selected to the NAIA All-America Honorable Mention team.
The NAIA All-America committee consists of the NAIA-Men’s Soccer Coaches Association Executive Committee, the National Championship Games Committee and four men’s soccer coaches—selected based on geography.
Each team—first, second and third—consists of 11 members.
Bryan was the most represented Appalachian Athletic Conference School on the NAIA All-America list with Union College (Ky.) following with one second team honoree, Luke Hitchman.
In addition to being named to the NAIA All-American Second Team, Mentzingen was recently recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as an Academic All-District® First Team member in College Division in District 2, which encompasses the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee. First-team Academic All-District™ honorees advanced to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, and that's where Mentzingen continued to be noticed as he was named to the Second Team of the CoSIDA All-America® Men's Soccer College Division Team.
He was named to the All-AAC First Team after netting the team's second highest amount of goals, 12, and adding five assists. His 12 goals ranked him 3rd in the AAC and 50th in the nation in the total goals column. He tied teammate Charlie Clarke with four game-winning goals, ranking them 3rd in the conference and 23rd in the NAIA. In the last week of the regular season, Mentzingen was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Week award after scoring four goals and one assist on the week. He scored two goals and dished out an assist against AAC foe, Montreat College (N.C.), and notched two goals versus the (at the time) No. 22 Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs. His efforts on the week led to him being named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Player of the Week, making him the only Lion to receive the honor this year.
The Mississauga, Ontario native, Jordan Dunstan anchored the Lion's back line and helped hold other teams to only seven total goals through the season's first 16 games. His efforts led to him receiving the honors of 2016 AAC Defensive Player of the Year and All-AAC First Team. He also aided offensively during the season with one goal scored against a top-25 team and connected for five assists throughout the year. He was one of three Bryan defenders recognized as an AAC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week this season.
Clarke was Bryan's leading goal scorer this year with 14 total goals. He started the year strong by finding the back of the net in four of the first five contests. His 14 goals ranked him 2nd in the AAC in total goals and 29th in the NAIA. At .74, Clarke nearly averaged a goal a game, which ranked him 2nd in the conference and 37th in the NAIA. He was a continual threat each and every game as he produced 2.21 shots on goal per match, landing him in the 2nd spot in the AAC and 22nd in the NAIA in the respective category. Four game winning goals were scored by Clarke, which tied him for 3rd in the conference and 27th in the nation. This marked his second consecutive year as a First Team All-Conference member.
“I am extremely happy for Rafael, Charlie, and Jordan on their All-American recognition,” said Bryan Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Drew Courtney. “It’s an honor for these guys, but it comes because these players are willing to put the team first.”
These three along with their fellow Lions helped Bryan Men’s Soccer accomplish one of their most successful seasons in program history. The Lions had a remarkable 16-3-3 overall record, while piecing together a 3-2-2 record versus top-25 opponents and topping three schools that were receiving votes. Bryan was the No. 10 seed in the National Tournament and hosted Spring Arbor University (Mich.) in the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round but fell 3-2. It was only the fourth time the Lions have made an appearance in the National Tournament.
Team – Bryan
Ranks Number 16 in the NAIA in Total Shutouts (10.000)
Ranks Number 21 in the NAIA in Shots on Goal per Game (9.050)
Ranks Number 23 in the NAIA in Total Goals (58)
Ranks Number 24 in the NAIA in Shots per Game (18.090)
Ranks Number 26 in the NAIA in Shutouts per Game (0.450)
Ranks Number 31 in the NAIA in Goals per Game (2.640)
Ranks Number 32 in the NAIA in Total Assists (40)
Ranks Number 46 in the NAIA in Assists per Game (1.820)
For the full list of 2016 NAIA Men’s Soccer All-Americans, click here.