Despite the team’s losing record, two Bradley Braves soccer players received Missouri Valley Conference honors this season.
Graduate goalkeeper Bryce Logan and graduate forward Gerit Wintermeyer picked up All-Conference team selections. Notably, this included a first-team pick and Goalkeeper of the Year for Logan.
Head coach Jim DeRose was impressed by the impact Logan had on the MVC in his short time between the posts for the Braves.
“To have the other coaches pick him as the Goalkeeper of the Year is incredible,“ DeRose said. “That’s a crazy award for him just being on campus for less than two, three months.”
This marks the first time a Bradley goal stopper received the award. Logan led the Valley in total saves with 55 for the season, more than doubling the next closest keeper with 27. He also led the conference with a five save-per-game average; the next closest keeper had an average of 2.86 saves per game.
Clearly boasting impressive numbers on the season, Logan felt that he had help posting them.
“Everybody wants to come in and be able to make a difference with their team,” Logan said. “It feels great, but there is a big supporting cast around me to help me get there.”
While his stats speak for themselves, DeRose also noted how he was able to make a difference on the young team.
“He’s just been nothing short of spectacular across the board,” DeRose said. “He kept us in every game that we were in.”
From goal stopper to goal scorer, Wintermeyer became only the sixth Brave and second Brave forward to receive four All-Conference placements throughout their time on the Hilltop, with a second-team selection.
While he didn’t necessarily post the numbers he aimed for, Wintermeyer enjoyed seeing the conference recognize the contributions he made this season.
“It’s always a good feeling when other people … see the performance and the work you put in on the field,” Wintermeyer said. “It just reinstates that you still got it.”
As a forward, sometimes it’s easy to tie performance to statistics, but according to DeRose, the MVC can see beyond the numbers.
“Gerit’s talent isn’t always hitched to goal scoring,” DeRose said. “Everybody that watches Gerit play … knows how gifted and good of a player he is.”
Wintermeyer felt that these awards also reflect the quality of the young squad this season.
“We wouldn’t have accomplished it without the rest of the team in the first place,” Wintermeyer said. “It shows the class of the team.”
In the bigger picture, DeRose is delighted that the leaders on the team were recognized for their performance this season, which is something he believes impacts the younger players.
“People use the word leadership [and] they think it’s what you say,” DeRose said. ”But it always helps as a coach when your arguably best players or leaders [are] going to be in the top of the fitness groups.”