NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The 2009 Atlantic 10 regular season champion University of Dayton Flyers had more first team and second team selections (four) than any other school when the honors were announced Wednesday, and UD's Dennis Currier was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.
After leading Dayton to its first-ever NCAA men's soccer berth last season, Currier helped the squad to its first A-10 regular season title since 2000 and earned his first-ever Coach of the Year nod. He led the team to a first-round bye in the 2009 A-10 Championship after earning the top seed and enters the tournament with a 13-4-1 overall record.
Seniors Isaac Kissi and Ryan Handbury headlined the A-10 first team selections. Only Fordham also had two named to the first team.
Kissi is Dayton's leading scorer and ranks third in the A-10 in points per game. Kissi was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Championship team last season.
Handbury leads the A-10 with eight assists, and he's a defender. He has played every minute this season for a UD defense that's posted a league-high nine shutouts, and only allowed three goals in conference play. This is the third postseason A-10 honor of Handbury's career, but first time he's earned first team recognition.
Senior Alex Torda and sophomore Tyler Picard picked up second team accolades, while sophomore Jack Pearson was an honorable mention pick.
The Flyers' second leading scorer, Torda paces the A-10 with three game-winning goals in conference-only games. He is a three-time Atlantic 10 selection, including first team in 2007.
Picard has stepped up in A-10 play, and in conference-only games leads the league in goals against average (.32), save percentage (.914) and shutouts (6). He's also perfect 2-for-2 on penalty kick saves against A-10 opponents. He shut out A-10 scoring leaders Charlotte and was in turn named to the National Teams of the Week for TopDrawerSoccer and College Soccer News (Nov. 2).
Pearson, a member of the All-Rookie team last season, was key to the Flyer defense that led the league in shutouts (9).
Evan McCreary, tied as the leading freshman scorer in the conference, was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team.
Torda and junior defender Tommy Watkins were named to the Academic All-Conference Team.
In all, the Flyers picked up nine awards in voting conducted by the league's head coaches.
"I am very excited for the guys who received these honors," said Currier. "We had great balance and a terrific team effort that resulted in an A-10 Regular Season Championship. We had a lot of deserving players and I'm proud of their efforts."
Dayton earned a first round bye and will play in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship this Friday, Nov. 13 in Kingston, R.I. The Flyers are looking for their second straight A-10 Championship title.