KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Freshman forward Bienfait Badibanga (Burlington, Vt.) was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-New England Third Team on Monday afternoon following his impressive rookie campaign.
The Norwich men's soccer program has now had at least one United Soccer Coaches All-New England honoree in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
Badibanga became the first player since Roger Motaze in 2007 and just the fourth overall in program history to be named the GNAC Rookie of the Year. Badibanga joined Motaze, Rob Harlow and Sani Siric as the only players to win the GNAC's top rookie honor.
Badibanga led Norwich with 11 goals and three assists for 25 points en route to earning GNAC First Team All-Conference honors. His 11 goals tied for the GNAC lead with GNAC Offensive Player of the Year Brett Mattos from Saint Joseph's (Maine), while his 25 points ranked third behind Mattos and SJC's Cody Elliott, who each had 26 points.
Badibanga was named the GNAC Player and Rookie of the Week twice during the season and had two hat tricks in his inaugural season in the Maroon & Gold.
Badibanga is the first selection for Norwich to the USC All-New England teams since Moab Schiers and Jacob Zimmerman each earned the honor in 2016.
Norwich closed the 2018 season with an 11-3-4 record and lost in the GNAC Semifinals to Johnson & Wales. The Cadets made it to at least the GNAC Semifinal round for the 15th straight season and have now posted 13 straight seasons with 10 or more wins.