Nov. 8, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
After helping the Army men's soccer team to its best record in four years, senior defender Jeff Pickett and junior midfielder Josh Koeppe were named to the 2011 All-Patriot League second team, it was announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning.
Army boasts two players on the All-Patriot League team for the first time since Daniel Newell and John Borland were placed on the second unit in 2006.
Pickett, who was the stabilizing force along the Black Knights' back line throughout the course of the season, earns second-team laurels for the second consecutive season. He becomes the first Army men's soccer player to take home all-conference honors in back-to-back years since Newell in 2006 and 2007.
Pickett, a talented center back from Temple, Texas, was part of an Army defense that limited the opposition to 1.61 goals per game and recorded three shutouts. A constant contributor on the Black Knights' set pieces, Pickett scored his lone goal on a header off a corner kick in Army's season opener versus Marist.
He finishes his decorated West Point career with four goals and one assist for nine points. His play on defense is what will be remembered most, however, as he helped change the culture of Army men's soccer.
"It's no secret that Jeff is recognized within our team as being a fierce and fiery competitor," said Army head coach Russell Payne. "He is an extremely dedicated and focused player, and it has been a pleasure for me to work with him over the past two years. I am very happy for and proud of Jeff."
After not recording a point over his first two years at the Academy, Koeppe burst onto the scene offensively this year. The third-year performer from Plano, Texas, led Army and ranked among the Patriot League leaders in goals (four), points (10), shots (40) and shots on goal (16).
Koeppe, who also listed among Army's leaders with two assists and two game-winning goals, scored the game winner in Army's 1-0 victory over Manhattan on Aug. 29. He added his second game-winning tally of the season in the Black Knights' 2-1 triumph over Holy Cross in the Patriot League opener on Sept. 24.
One of Koeppe's best performances of the season came in Army's heart-breaking 3-2 overtime loss at Colgate on Oct. 15, when he scored a goal and assisted on another.
"Josh has really come into his own over the last couple of seasons," said Payne. "He's developed a great deal of confidence, and has emerged as one of our offensive leaders. Josh found a way to become goal-dangerous this year, and was able to score some big goals for us. I look forward to even bigger and better things from him next season."
Army finished the 2011 campaign with a 7-10-1 overall record (2-4-1 PL). The Black Knights' seven victories are the most since the 2007 team won nine games. Army's two Patriot League wins are the most since the 2006 Black Knights won three conference contests. Army's sixth-place finish in the Patriot League standings is its highest since placing fifth in 2006. Army accumulated seven points in conference games, the highest total for the Black Knights since the Patriot League adopted the points system beginning in 2007.