WEST BABYLON, NY – The University of the District of Columbia's Gabriel Torres was named East Coast Conference Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year, and a host of Firebirds earned All-Conference distinction as announced by the league office on Thursday, November 2nd.
Torres and junior defender Michael Agboola each earned First Team All-ECC, senior forward Raphael Pacano, junior midfielder Kelvin Hererra, and sophomore midfielder Jason Mayorga were named Second Team, and freshman midfielder Gabriel Velluto and senior defender Victor Salinas Furio were picked to the Third Team.
Torres, a sophomore midfielder from Salvador, Brazil, leads the conference and ranks tied for 2nd in the nation in both points (49) and goals (19). He is also tied for the conference lead and ranks tied for 7th in Division II with 11 assists.
A three-time ECC Offensive Player of the Week award winner, Torres also leads the league with seven game-winning goals, including three in conference play. He scored at least one goal in 12 of 19 games this season, including six multi-goal games and one hat trick in a 4-1 win vs. St. Thomas Aquinas College. Torres also had an assist in 10 different games, including two assists in UDC's 2-0 win vs. Wilmington University.
Torres is the first Firebird to ever earn an ECC post-season individual award since UDC joined the conference in 2012. He is also the first student-athlete from a school other than LIU Post to claim the Offensive Player of the Year honor since 2010.
Joining Torres on the ECC First Team is junior defender Michael Agboola, who helped anchor a defensive unit that forced five shutout victories and held opponents to one goal or less in 12 of 19 games. The London, England native also managed to score three points on a goal and an assist from his defender position.
Raphael Pacano, a Second Team selection, has had a breakout season in his first year with the Firebirds. The Gaithersburg, MD native has registered 26 points on 12 goals and two assists, and he's scored four game-winning goals this season. He has scored at least one goal in 10 games, including two games of two goals – one of which was Tuesday's two-goal performance in UDC's 3-2 overtime win in the ECC semifinals vs. Mercy College.
Likewise, junior midfielder Kelvin Hererra (Falls Church, VA) has been key to the Firebirds' emergence in the ECC this season, registering 12 points on three goals and six assists. He assisted the game-winning goals in UDC's 2-1 win vs. Nyack and its 3-2 overtime win in the semifinals vs. Mercy, he scored two goals in the 5-0 regular season win vs. Mercy, and he assisted two goals in a 4-1 win vs. Holy Family.
Sophomore transfer midfielder, Jason Mayorga, joins Pacano and Hererra on the ECC Second Team after a very productive first year with UDC. The Silver Spring, MD native was the hero in UDC's 3-2 overtime victory vs. Mercy in the ECC semifinals on Tuesday as he scored the golden goal – his 1st of the year – to send the Firebirds to the Finals. Mayorga has registered six points on one goal and four assists this season.
Freshman midfielder Gabriel Velluto earned Third Team All-ECC honors as he started 19 games and produced one assist.
Last but certainly not least, senior defender Victor Salinas Furio earned his third consecutive Third Team All-ECC honor. The ECC Men's Soccer Elite 18 award recipient registered seven points on two goals and three assists from his defender position. He, along with Agboola, senior Thomas Alvarez and freshman Pablo Basarte, was part of a strong UDC defensive unit that ranked 3rd in the ECC in goals allowed average (1.36).