WINTRHOP, Mass. – Senior center back Christian Albrecht (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year on Monday as part of the league's annual postseason awards.
Albrecht led a contingent of six total Norwich University men's soccer players to earn GNAC All-Conference recognition. Albrecht's honor makes it four out of the last five years that a NU men's soccer player has earned the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year award after Ryan Campbell won it in 2011 and 2013 and Albrecht winning last year.
Albrecht anchored a defensive unit that allowed just 21 goals in 20 games played this season. He started all 20 games this year, while scoring two goals and notching three assists for a career-high seven points. He also served as the team captain this season.
Albrecht is now a four-year GNAC All-Conference player after being named First Team for the second straight season and earning Second Team honors as a freshman and sophomore.
Zimmerman led the Cadets with 11 goals and 25 points, as well as notching three assists this season. His 38 career goals in 60 career games played rank him fourth all-time in Norwich men's soccer history. He also led the team with five game-winning goals and had a five-game goal scoring streak late in the season.
Zimmerman is now a three-year GNAC All-Conference selection after earning First Team honors for the second straight year and Second Team honors as a freshman in 2013.
Schiers had his most productive offensive season in the Maroon & Gold to date, tallying seven goals and dishing out five assists for 19 points. He played and started in all 20 games and is now a three-time GNAC All-Conference selection after earning Third Team honors as a freshman and Second Team honors as a sophomore.
Norwich had three more players named to the GNAC All-Conference Second Team in senior Zach Garcia (Yuma, Ariz.), as well as freshmen Ethan Melia (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Stefan Skoff (San Jose, Calif.).
Garcia earned his first All-Conference selection after playing and starting all 20 games alongside Albrecht to form the heart of the NU defense at center back. He helped Albrecht anchor a defense that finished as one of the top units in the GNAC.
Melia had an impressive rookie campaign, earning GNAC Rookie of the Week honors twice and Player of the Week honors once. He posted seven goals and six assists for an even 20 points to rank second on the team in points. Melia was named the Cadet Kickoff Classic Offensive Most Valuable Player after scoring three goals and adding one assist over the two games.
Skoff was equally as impressive in his inaugural year for the Maroon & Gold, starting every game in goal for the Cadets. He compiled a 12-7-1 overall record with a 1.09 goals against average and a .798 save percentage to go along with six shutouts. Skoff won four GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week awards and one GNAC Rookie of the Week award.
Senior Eric Beecy (Stowe, Vt.) earned Norwich's spot on the GNAC Sportsmanship team for the second straight year. He played in all 20 games, scoring three goals and adding one assist for seven points.
Norwich also earned the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship team award for the first time under head coach Kyle Dezotell. The award is voted on by the league coaches for which team exemplifies the best sportsmanship over the course of the season.
Norwich (12-7-1) advanced to the GNAC Tournament semifinals for the 12th straight season, including all 10 under head coach Kyle Dezotell, but lost 4-0 to eventual champion Johnson & Wales.