Barry Rice Becomes Third All-American in School History

Nov. 21, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Kentucky defender Barry Rice has been selected to the third-team Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year – a variation of an All-America team – it was announced on Friday.

Rice, a native of Parma, Ohio, has roamed the backline for the Wildcats since arriving on campus as a freshman in 2006. One of the top defenders in the college game, Rice started all 21 games for UK, logging 1989 minutes, the third-most on the team. Rice totaled two goals and one assist, with both goals serving as game-winners – including a game-winning goal in the Conference USA semifinal against UCF.

A force in the air, Rice’s aerial prowess necessitated the keeping of a new stat for the UK soccer program, the number of contested header attempts Rice won and lost. Throughout the season, Rice claimed a staggering number of header attempts, finishing the year winning 189-for-218 contested header attempts, an 87-percent clip. His best aerial game came in a two-overtime, regular-season finale tie with Memphis, when Rice kept UK’s unbeaten streak alive by winning 32-of-36 contested header attempts. 

A 5-foot-11 product of St. Ignatius, Rice helped anchor a UK defense that finished with the fifth-best goals-against average (0.80) in program history. A year ago, with UK’s offensive attack depleted by injury, Rice carried the load, totaling seven goals and one assist – with six goals coming off header attempts. In his three-year career, Rice has played in 60 games, totaling 10 goals and seven assists – including six game-winning goals, the sixth-most in the 18-year history of the program.

A preseason All-American and member of the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy National Player of the Year watch list, Rice became the first player in league history to earn C-USA Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons. Rice joined junior midfielder Jason Griffiths as UK players named to the first-team, with Dan Williams and Masumi Turnbull tabbed to the third-team. Forward Marco dos Santos, who totaled five goals and five assists, was selected as the C-USA Newcomer of the Year. Rice, Griffiths and Williams all functioned as co-captains for the 2008 season.

Kentucky, ranked as high as No. 21 in the national polls, finished its season suffering a defeat in the C-USA Championship game on penalty kicks, 4-2, despite tying No. 7 Tulsa in two overtimes. With the tie, UK improved its school-record unbeaten streak to 10 games, eclipsing the previous mark of seven games, set in 1997,1998 and 2004.

Twice before in program history has a UK player been named an All-American, as Ilkka Jantti (2001) and Jamal Shteiwi (2004) were named National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America. Jantti earned second team honors by the NSCAA and collegesoccernews.com, while Shteiwi was selected third-team by the NSCAA and second-team by collegesoccernews.com.

TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Season

First Team
GK: Stefan Frei, California
D: Ike Opara, Wake Forest
D: Kevin Alston, Indiana
D: Joel Gustafsson, St. John's
M: Brad Ring, Indiana
M: Baggio Husidic, UIC
M: Mike Stephens, UCLA
M: Jeremy Hall, Maryland
F: Mike Grella, Duke
F: Steve Zakuani, Akron
F: Marcus Tracy, Wake Forest
F: Chris Pontius, UC Santa Barbara

Player of the Season: Steve Zakuani, Akron

Second Team
GK: Zack Simmons, Massachusetts
D: Brad Rusin, UCLA
D: Yohance Marshall, South Florida
D: Matt Besler, Notre Dame
D: Omar Gonzalez, Maryland
M: Nelson Becerra, St. John's
F: O'Brian White, Connecticut
F: Peri Marosevic, Michigan
F: Doug DeMartin, Michigan State
F: Andrew Wiedeman, California
F: Matt Eliason, Northwestern
F: Conor Chinn, San Francisco

Third Team
GK: Tyrel Lacey, Tulsa
D: Chris Schuler, Creighton
D: Barry Rice, Kentucky
D: Nick Barclay, Gonzaga
D: David Sias, UC Santa Barbara
M: Quincy Amarikwa, UC Davis
M: Bobby Warshaw, Stanford
F: Chris Salvaggione, Charlotte
F: Kyle Christianson, Denver
F: Devan Carroll, UNC Wilmington
F: Brian Shriver, North Carolina
F: Jamie Darvill, Loyola (MD)

(Note: Freshmen are not eligible for the Team of the Season – only the All-Rookie Team)

TopDrawerSoccer.com All-Rookie Team

First-Team
GK: Zac MacMath, Maryland
D: Tony Walls, Wisconsin-Green Bay
D: Kofi Sarkodie, Akron
D: Dan Wenzel, Wake Forest
M: Matt Kassel, Maryland
M: Darlington Nagbe, Akron
M: Tony Tchani, Virginia
F: Danny Mwanga, Oregon State
F: Michael Bustamante Boston University
F: Will Bruin, Indiana
F: Brian Ownby, Virginia
F: Casey Townsend, Maryland

Rookie of the Season: Matt Kassel, Maryland

Second-Team
GK: Andrew Fontein, UC Irvine
D: Sheanon Williams, North Carolina
D: Roger Downes, Loyola Marymount
M: Julian Serrato, UIC
M: Karol Chorak, Liberty
M: Jarod Stigall, Denver
F: Colin Rolfe, Louisville
F: Steffen Rabben, Old Dominion
F: Sam Garza, Denver
F: Coleton Hennings, Furman
F: Lucky Mkosana, Dartmouth
F: Austin Neil, Tulsa