Written by OUA
Photo by Valerie Wutti
BURLINGTON, Ontario – After posting a 14-1-1 regular season record, coupled with a postseason win, the Ravens men’s soccer team has rounded up a pile of All-Star honours and other major awards.
At the helm of this talent group of Ravens is one of the best in the business on the sidelines, as Kwesi Loney earns the East Division’s top coach honours this year.
The Carleton coach has worked extremely hard to build an exceptional program at the university, something that has clearly paid off in the on-field product. The Ravens, who finished the regular season with a top-5 ranking in the country and a 14-1-1 record, have developed a strong culture under Loney’s guidance – on the field, in the classroom, and in the community – which includes the continued growth of the successful Junior Ravens soccer program.
Dario Conte (Ottawa, Ont.) was a force to be reckoned with for the black birds this season, helping the Ravens soar to another top season, and for his efforts, has been named the East Division’s top player.
Along with the MVP selection, Conte also receives his second all-star recognition and it comes for many deserving reasons. The talented midfielder boasts terrific vision with the ball, can pass over distance, and can greatly affect the game with his ability to score in key moments. On the scoresheet, Conte’s well-rounded campaign included three goals and five assists, while also registering 33 shots.
Among those who join Conte as all-stars are five of his fellow Ravens, who have stood out for all the right reasons from the net outward. Starting between the pipes, second-year goalkeeper Nick Jeffs (Ottawa, Ont.) was a brick wall for the Ravens, conceding just three goals in his 11 starts and earning his first all-star nod in the process. On the defensive side of the ball, Carleton also sees representation from Diego Politis (Ottawa, Ont.) and Cristopher Malekos (Saint-Hyppolyte, Que.). Both are second-year players who played integral parts in keeping the ball out of harm’s way this year, en route to the team’s 11 shutouts.
Up front, and along with Conte, the Ravens boast continued talent with the likes of Emad Houache (Ottawa, Ont.) at the midfield position and Gabriel Bitar (Ottawa, Ont.) at striker. Conte’s running mate in the midfield has shown great leadership for the team this season, wile Bitar has continued to be one of the conference’s most dynamic scoring threats, as evidenced by his 13 goals on the year.
Goalkeeper – Nick Jeffs, Carleton
Defence – Diego Politis, Carleton
Defence – Cristopher Malekos, Carleton
Midfielder – Dario Conte, Carleton
Midfielder – Emad Houache, Carleton
Striker – Gabriel Bitar, Carleton