Dec. 21, 2004
Santa Barbara, Calif. - In the first year that the award has been given, assistant men's soccer coach Leo Chappel was recognized today as the Regional Assistant Coach of the Year by the NSCAA. Chappel, who represents the West region, is one of just six assistants from the junior college level to Division I, across both men's and women's, to be honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
A five-time honoree as one of College Soccer News' Top Assistant Coaches in his career, Chappel joins head coach Tim Vom Steeg as a finalist for the national honor at their respective levels in January at the NSCAA Convention. Vom Steeg and Chappel guided UCSB to its first-ever College Cup two week's ago, dismantling Duke 5-0 in the semifinals before battling Indiana to a 1-1 tie, only to have the National Championship determined by penalty kicks.
In addition to Vom Steeg and Chappel's honors, the Gauchos' postseason accolades have continued to roll in following their 21-3-1 finish to the season. Seniors Tony Lochhead and Drew McAthy added to their Second and Third Team NSCAA All-American awards, respectively, by being named to CSN's First Team. While goalkeeper Dan Kennedy got his just due by earning Third Team All-American honors from CSN after being snubbed from the NSCAA ranks.
Recapping the postseason awards, Kennedy, Lochhead, and McAthy were also named the NCAA Division I College Cup All-Tournament team, with McAthy earning the title as the tourney's Most Outstanding Offensive Player, netting three goals in UCSB's two matches. Joining the trio of seniors on the All-College Cup squad was freshman defender Andy Iro who help anchor a Gaucho defense that allowed just one goal in the tourney.
In the coming weeks, the soccer careers of the Gaucho senior class will become more clear as the three seniors already mentioned, McAthy, Lochhead, and Kennedy, along with fellow graduate Neil Jones, are all exploring their professional options through trials, tryouts, and the upcoming MLS Player Combine in January.