Men's Soccer Players Honored By The NESCAC, LaRocca is Rookie of the Year

November 12, 2004

11/12/04 - Four members of the Middlebury College men's soccer team were honored today by the NESCAC. Senior John Rusten (Federal Way, Wash.) and junior Derek Cece (Williamstown, Mass.) were named to the first team, while senior Kellan Florio (Gilford, N.H.) and sophomore John Sales (Chatham, Ill.) were second-team selections. First-year player David Larocca (Sparta, N.J.) was named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.

The five players helped lead Middlebury to a solid 12-3-2 record in the 50th anniversary season of the program. Middlebury was ranked as high as second in New England this season, while also ranking in the top 15 nationally.

Rusten earns the honor after leading the team with nine goals and 21 points this season. The senior scored some big goals for the Panthers, including five game winners on the season. He also dished out three assists in '04, while playing in all but one game as a forward. He ends his career with 15 goals and six assists for 36 points in 51 games.

Cece makes the team as a defender after anchoring one of the top defenses in the region. The junior helped lead a core that allowed just 0.80 goals/game, shutting out eight opponents this season.

Florio was a consistent presence for the Panther offense this season. He led the team with four assists, to go along with six goals for 16 points this fall. He ends his career with 17 goals and four assists for 38 points in 51 games.

 Sales earns second-team honors for the second straight season. The sophomore controlled the tempo for the Panthers from the midfield, helping the team to rank second in the NESCAC in team offense and team defense. He ended the season with a pair of goals and an assist for five points.

LaRocca scored some of the team's biggest goals this season, coming on strong at the end of the season as well. He ended the year second on the team with eight goals and 18 points to go along with his two assists. He enjoyed one of the best two-day performances a player could have, on October 30th and 31st in Middlebury After scoring a hat-trick in the season finale vs. Trinity, LaRocca scored two goals and assisted on two others in an amazing 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Tufts in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament.