Oliveira Lands Defensive Player of the Year, Seven Golden Eagles Named All-Conference
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (November 10, 2015) -- The John Brown men’s soccer team set a program record with seven named to the 2015 edition of the Sooner Athletic’s all-conference selections, with sophomore defender Douglas Oliveira earning Defensive Player of the Year, conference offices announced this afternoon (Nov. 10).
Oliveira, who also claimed a spot on the First Team, was joined on the top list by sophomore midfielder Collin Smith, freshman defender Giovanni Bejarano and sophomore keeper Adam Holt. Oliveira and Holt was named to the All-Sooner Athletic Second Team last season, while Smith and Bejarano were honored for the first time in their careers.
Additionally, freshman midfielder Ryan Williams, senior midfielder Guilherme Barbosa and senior defender Will Simonds were honored with a place on the Second Team listing. It is the first time the trio of players have earned All-Conference accolades.
With seven players named to the list, a new program record was set for the John Brown men’s soccer program, who could have a total of seven appear on the final ballot due to finishing second overall in the conference. The Golden Eagles featured the most players of any team, beating out conference regular season champions Science & Arts (Okla.), which had six on the list.
“One of the greatest strengths of our team this year was that we had so many different ways to be successful in games,” said head coach Scott Marksberry. “We were able to possess the ball for long stretches, break out on counters, press high up the field, defend in our own half, score on set pieces or patiently break down an opposing defense. I think that the all-conference selections this year reflect all of those different characteristics of our team.
“I am very proud of the way each of these players fulfilled his role for our team. It is great to see our Guilherme and Will earn their first career all-conference honors in their senior season, and it is equally exciting to see the promise of the future with five freshmen and sophomores on the list.”
Oliveira was named All-Sooner Athletic for the second time in his career by helping carry a JBU defense that allowed just .870 goals-against per game this season and a 1.10 goals-against mark in conference play, both of which led all SAC programs. The centerback also added a pair of goals (four points) this season and started 15 of the 16 games he appeared in.
Holt pieced together one of the finest goalkeeping performances in JBU history in 2015 before falling victim to a season-ending knee injury with two games remaining in the regular season. Holt pieced together a 9-5-1 record and made 54 saves on the 68 shots taken against him, earning a .910 goals-against average and a .794 save percentage, including eight shutouts. His .910 goals-against average ranks sixth all-time in single-season program history while the eight clean sheets ranks him tied for fifth most in a single campaign.
Smith helped control and direct the Golden Eagle attack to the tune of a career-high tying five assists this year. The defending midfielder also landed three goals, including his first career goal, marking a six-point improvement over his freshman campaign (five points). With 11 points on the year, Smith finished fourth on the team in scoring.
Bejarano earns First Team honors as a freshman after starting 19 of 20 games at the left back position, filling a vital need that emerged after the 2014 season. In that capacity, Bejarano marked some of the most prolific SAC strikers and helped the back line and Holt maintain a .870 goals-against average on the season as opponents averaged only 9.9 shots a game.
Additionally, Williams headlines one of three Golden Eagles to make the Second Team listing after a 17-point freshman season, which led the team. Williams capped off his freshman season with a five-goal, seven-assist outburst, which was either tied for the team lead or paced the team. Pouring on the scoring late into the season, Williams ended the campaign with nine points in his final eight games, including his first collegiate game-winner, a 40-yard strike that gave John Brown a 1-0 overtime victory over Wayland Baptist (Texas) in the conference tournament quarterfinals on Nov. 6.
Barbosa joins Williams on the Second Team after posting a career year that featured a trio of goals and four assists (10 points). Barbosa had to wait until his senior year to finally score his first collegiate goal, but finished out the season with three goals in the final six contests, including the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Wayland Baptist (Texas) on Oct. 24. He also passed out an assist on four separate occasions this season.
Finally, Simmonds collects his first All-Conference nod in his final season. Simonds helped patrol a back line that pitched 10 shutouts this season, the most of any Soon Athletic program and tied for eighth-most in the nation. Simonds started 17 of 20 games this season and assisted in JBU allowing just 9.9 shots against per game and led the effort in keeping the Golden Eagles’ goals-against average down to a mere .870 through 20 games on the season.
After being picked in the SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll to finish sixth overall, John Brown managed to post a 13-6-1 season that featured a pair of five-match winning streaks and a victory at then-No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan. With an 8-1-0 SAC regular season record, John Brown captured the most conference wins in program history and earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament. After dispatching seventh-seeded Wayland Baptist in the tournament quarterfinal in overtime, 1-0, the Golden Eagles fell 2-1 in an upset to third-seeded Southwestern Christian (Okla.), marking an end to the first 13-win season since 2003.