Withrow Headlines List of All-Conference Selections

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net

IRVING, Texas- The Thundering Herd men's soccer team concluded its 2011 season with a loss to SMU in the quarterfinal of the Conference USA Championships on Wednesday, but still received some good news upon hearing that four of its own were selected to the All-Conference teams earlier this week.

Goalkeeper Daniel Withrow, who was voted First Team All-Conference a year ago, retained that title for the second year running and was once again honored as the league's top goaltender. The junior from Rochester Hills, Michigan, led the conference in saves and saves-per-game, and helped the Herd post four shutouts on the season. He is the only goalkeeper and only Marshall player to be selected to the 2011 All-Conference First Team.

The Herd's leading goalscorer, Tom Jackson, was named to the All-Conference Second Team after leading Marshall with 10 goals this season. The junior from Dunedin, New Zealand, was a constant offensive threat this year, as seen when he scored back-to-back hattricks against Winthrop and Memphis.

Sophomore Anthony Virgara, who last year was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team, made a natural progression to the All-Conference Second Team this season after scoring three goals and registering two assists. All three of the Pittsburgh native's strikes came against league opposition, and Virgara's blistering pace and dribbling skills haunted Marshall's foes throughout the season.

Lastly, Marshall rookie Jahvon Allison earned a place on the 2011 All-Freshman Team after appearing in 16 games with six starts for the Herd this year. The midfielder from Kingston, Jamaica, played in several positions early-on, but settled into the midfield and posted one goal and two assists for Marshall this season.

Memphis striker Mark Sherrod, whom the Herd held goalless in its match against the Tigers earlier this season, received C-USA Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors for scoring a league-leading 19 goals and 42 points this season. SMU defender Diogo de Almeida was the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year award, claiming the honor from Withrow who received the award in 2010. Tulsa midfielder Tony Rocha was tabbed Freshman of the Year, and South Carolina's Mark Berson was named Coach of the Year after leading his Gamecocks to a share of the C-USA regular season championship.

"Daniel is a repeat First Team All-Conference player, and deservedly so," commented Head Coach Bob Gray. "He's one of the best goalkeepers not only in the conference, but also in the country, and we're happy to have him around for another year. The same goes for Tom Jackson. He's a guy who was a leader on the field and made a lot of things happen on the offensive front for us. We were a little disappointed he did not make the first team with the number of goals and game-winning goals he had this season, but like Daniel, we believe he is a very talented player capable of earning All-Region, All-American, and maybe one day, professional honors."

"Joining Jackson on the second team we had Anthony Virgara," continued Gray. "He was a member of the All-Freshman Team last season and came into his own even more-so this year. Anthony is definitely one of the more creative players in the conference, and possesses deadly one-on-one skill. We missed him in the quarterfinal match against SMU earlier this week with his injury, but are happy to have him back for two more seasons. And finally we have Jahvon Allison who made the All-Freshman Team. Jahvon was a very solid player for us this season, and he seemed to get better with each and every game. Being just a freshman, he really has a bright future with us and we can't wait to see him in action again next year."

For the complete release with names of all those who made the C-USA All-Conference Teams, please click here<http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/c-usa/sports/m-soccer/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/MSOC_All-Conference.pdf>.

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