Dec. 10, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky men’s soccer senior co-captains Jason Griffiths, Barry Rice and Dan Williams have been selected to the Midwest All-Region team, it was announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association Thursday afternoon.
UK’s senior co-captains are each earning NSCAA All-Region accolades for the second consecutive season, as Griffiths and Rice were tabbed to the first-team and Williams earned third-team recognition. Last year, Rice was UK’s lone first-team recipient, with Griffiths earning second team and Williams named to the third team.
Kentucky’s senior captains helped lead UK to a 13-6 record in 2009, including a school-record 5-0 start to the year. The Wildcats opened the year in historic fashion, before falling into a three-match losing streak, including losses at No. 6 Indiana and against Conference USA front-runners UAB and Tulsa in one-goal games. After a 0-3 start to the season in conference play, UK needed to win its remaining league matches in order to clinch a berth in the post-season. Led by its captains UK won its five remaining games, including three matches on the road and a de-facto elimination game win over traditional power SMU in the conference regular-season finale. UK faced the three-time defending C-USA Champion Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., in the opener, falling 2-1, despite a goal from senior George Davis IV.
Rice, a defender and native of Parma, Ohio, exits UK as arguably the most decorated player in the history of the program. An All-America selection in 2008, Rice became the only two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in league history, winning the honor in 2007 and 2008. A physical and athletic defender, Rice played in 78 career games, totaling 12 goals and seven assists (31 points), with seven game-winning goals. Rice’s best offensive campaign came in 2007, when he had to carry the offensive load for an injury depleted UK team, totaling seven goals and one assist. In 2009, Rice had two goals in 18 starts, helping UK pace the league with seven shutouts and a 0.78 goals-against average.
Griffiths, a native of Bracknell, England, was a fixture in the UK midfield from the moment he arrived in Lexington, playing in 65 career games with 64 starts. Griffiths finished his career with 12 goals and 10 assists (34 points), netting two game-winning goals. Most impressive, Griffiths was a perfect 8-for-8 in penalty-kick goals in the regular-season in his decorated four-year career. During the 2009 season, Griffiths ranked second on the team with three goals, adding one assist.
A native of Fairfax Station, Va., Williams was a four-year starter who follows in a long line of successful goalkeepers at Kentucky. A fearless and physical 6-foot-2, 200-pound keeper, Williams played in 73 career games with 72 starts, finishing with a 1.06 goals-against average in 6782 minutes. He finished with 221 career saves, 21 career shutouts and a 39-24-9 career record. In 2009, Williams led the league with a 0.78 goals-against average, allowing only 15 goals in 19 games.