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Four members of the Lakeland men's soccer team garnered All-Northern Athletics Conference honors as the league announced the 2011 All-NAC Men's Soccer team Wednesday.
Alex Piekarski, a junior goalkeeper from Menasha, Wis., and Jeremy Hardy, a senior forward from Cooks, Mich., earned First Team All- NAC. Freshman forward Paul Elzinga (Howards Grove) was selected to the All-Freshman team, while senior midfielder Danny Spatchek (Chilton) was named to the All-Sportsmanship team.
Hardy was one of the Muskies biggest offensive threats and had a knack for scoring at clutch times. He led the team with 11 goals, which was tied for first in the NAC. Hardy recorded two hat tricks this season, becoming just the second player in the program's history to earn the feat.
"Jeremy had a great year," said head coach Tony Pierce. "He scored at key times and was the main focus of our opponent's defense. At times he was doubled team, but he made things happen for us."
Piekarski had a tremendous year in goal, recording 101 saves and four shutouts. He ranked second in the NAC in saves and his 1.59 goals against average ranks fourth all-time in Lakeland's record book.
"Alex was an ironman for us in goal," said Pierce. "I am very happy for his accomplishments this year and I look forward to next year."
Elzinga became a mainstay in the Muskies lineup, appearing in 16 games, starting in eight. He scored two goals and chipped in with an assist. Elzinga will look to transition into the team's biggest offensive threat next year.
"Paul came in and did a great job being versatile for us," said Pierce. "He has good pace and vision on the field. Next year he'll hopefully transition into the lead scoring role."
Spatchek, who also earned All-Sportsmanship honors in 2009, recorded one goal and two assists this season. He had a calming effect on the field and played an integral role in the midfield.
"Danny is a hardworking, blue-collar kind of player," said Pierce. "He's one of our most consistent players and this award is a reflection on the kind of person and player he is."
Lakeland finished the season with an 8-7-3 record, which marked the team's first winning season since 2008 when the Muskies went 8-7-2. The team capped 33 goals and dished out 19 assists, which ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, in the college's record book.
To see the complete 2011 All-Northern Athletics Conference Men's Soccer awards, click here: http://northernac.org/sports/msoc/2011-12/all-conference