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Olsen named top Landmark defender again

Junior defender Kurt Olsen was named the top defender in the Landmark Conference in men's soccer for the second consecutive season, leading six U.S. Merchant Marine players who were honored by the league.

Five players were named to the All-Landmark first team, while another was selected to the second team.

The Charlotte, N.C. native played a key role for the Mariners, who captured the Landmark championship on Saturday, recording a 1-0 victory at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. to clinch an automatic spot in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Twenty-four players were chosen by the conference's eight head coaches – 12 on each team. The voting took place after the conclusion of the regular season and prior to the Landmark semifinals and final.

Also named to the first team were Mariners junior goalkeeper Gary Poulin, defender Hollis Irvine, senior midfielder Casey Desiderio and junior forward Ryan Silveira.

Senior Andrew MacKenzie was selected to the second team as a midfielder.

The Mariners tied Catholic University with six places on the all-conference teams. Cardinals forward Michael Brennan was named offensive player of the year and the Catholic coaching staff, directed by head coach Travis Beauchamp, a former assistant coach at the Academy, was chosen as coaching staff of the year. Drew University freshman forward Ricardo Castro was picked as rookie of the year.

The other first-team selections included Drew sophomore defender Matt Gragnano, Catholic senior midfielder Michael DiMarco, Scranton junior midfielder Bill McGuiness, Drew sophomore midfielder Kevin Veliz and Drew senior defender Curtis Fornarotto and Catholic sophomore defender Kevin Romano.

Twenty-four players were chosen by the conference's eight head coaches – 12 on each team. The voting took place after the conclusion of the regular season and prior to the Landmark semifinals and final.

Photo: USMMA junior Kurt Olsen was named the Landmark Conference's top defender for the second year in a row.