Coastal soccer trio earns All-South Region honors

ccusoc-garbanzodribbleCoastal Carolina’s senior trio of Shawn McLaws, Ricky Garbanzo and Uchenna Uzo have been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region teams.

McLaws and Garbanzo earned first team honors, while Uzo garnered third team recognition. The all-region honor is McLaws’ second after playing his way onto the All-South Atlantic Region second team last season. Uzo, who was a second team honoree in both 2012 and 2013, collected his third all-region plaudit. Garbanzo’s accolade is his first.

The three Chanticleers led eight Big South Conference selections on the All-South Region teams. Moreover, McLaws and Garbanzo along with Wofford’s Forrest Lasso and Matthew Aurednik were the only non-Atlantic Coast Conference student-athletes to be recognized on the 12-man first team.

McLaws, a senior from Edmond, Okla., was the anchor along the backline for a Chanticleer defense that ranked 39th in the country with a 0.85 goals against average. The two-time Big South Defensive Player of the Year was Coastal’s most versatile defender, leading the defense to nine shutouts during the 2014 campaign. Coastal Carolina limited its opposition to a mere 3.30 shots on goal per game, thanks in large part to McLaws’ ability to limit balls crossed into the box from the flanks.

Garbanzo, a senior from Rock Hill, S.C., was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List entering the 2014 campaign. Garbanzo, who was named the Big South Attacking Player of the Year, led Coastal and ranked fourth in the Big South with eight goals this season. In addition, the forward ranked 38th in Division I with 22 total points and 88th averaging 0.96 points per game. Garbanzo earned College Soccer News National Team of the Week and Big South Attacking Player of the Week honors on Sept. 2 after providing a pair of assists and scoring the game-winner to lead Coastal past then-No. 8 UConn. Garbanzo also dished out six assists on the season.

Uzo, a three-time All-Big South honoree, turned in another exceptional season along the Coastal backline. With Uzo in the back, the Chants allowed only 20 goals, including a sparse four against conference competition. The Lagos, Nigeria, native helped lead the Chants to a 0.85 goals against average and a .390 shutout percentage. Uzo, known around the country for his man-marking ability, kept four fellow All-South Region attacking players from scoring.

McLaws and Garbanzo concluded their Chanticleer careers as the winningest four-year seniors in program history. The duo complied a 73-18-3 career record along with three Big South regular season and two tournament championships. Uzo, who joined the Chanticleers prior to the 2012 season, compiled a 55-14-3 record to go with a pair of both Big South regular season and tournament titles.

Moreover, McLaws and Garbanzo advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of their four seasons in Conway. They finished with a 6-4-0 NCAA Tournament record, including a back-to-back of Round of 16 appearances in 2012 and 2013.

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