PHILADELPHIA--The Penn men’s soccer team held its year-end banquet Penn to celebrate the 2006-07 season and recognize some of this season's standouts.
Two players showed notable improvement throughout the season, so much so that they were both recipients of the Arthur M. Binns Award for Most Improved Player. Sophomores Drew Chesser and John Elicker combined for one appearance and scored no points in their first season with the Quakers.
This season, Elicker became a mainstay in the starting lineup and registered an assist on the game-winner at Cornell. Chesser found time as a second-half off-the-bench contributor. He played in 11 matches and took five shots for the Quakers.
Elicker was also given the distinction as the Penn Soccer Coaches’ Award choice. It is given to the player the coaches choose as an outstanding contributor to the team on and off the field.
Though there was only one freshman eligible for the Charles R. Scott Most Valuable Freshman Award, Lee Rubenstein proved to be a deserving recipient. He appeared in just three matches, but provided solid practice competition for the field players.
Ryan Tracy, the team’s top goal-scorer and the always dangerous Alex Grendi were named co-offensive MVPs. A senior, Tracy had a breakout season scoring more goals (4) and points (10) in 2006 than he did in his three years prior combined.
Grendi started in all 15 contests and scored seven points behind two goals and three assists. His goal against Duquesne was all the Quakers needed to get by the Dukes and claim the Penn Soccer Classic title.
Finally, taking home the defensive MVP award as well as the David L. Gould MVP as the most valuable player overall, was senior captain Daniel Cepero. He was a unanimous All-Ivy first team selection as well as team captain. He has left his name in several places in the Penn history books. His 23 career shutouts make him, far and away, the all-time leader in the category. He also tied his own single-season record (third on Penn’s list) with eight shutouts this season.
This season, he helped the Quakers to a 9-4-2 record and the best Ivy League finish (5-1-1) since the 2002 season. He stonewalled opponents for 366:19 consecutive minutes from Sept. 8-20 and again for 299:33 fromOct. 18-Nov. 4 to end the season. Cepero’s 0.76 goals-against average topped the Ivy League as did eight shutouts.
Most recently, Cepero made the move to the pros when he was drafted by Red Bull New York in January and signed a contract with the team in March.