Anton Axelsson named A-Sun "Player of the Year"

Nov. 13, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior forward Anton Axelsson was named Atlantic Sun "Player of the Year" after leading the men's soccer team to the regular season championship, the first in school history.

Axelsson, who led the A-Sun in points (34), points per game (1.89) goals (15), goals per game (.83) and game-winning goals (6), was the only unanimous selection to the A-Sun first team and becomes the second Dolphin to win "Player of the Year" in a row after Tommy Krizanovic received the honors last season.

"I'm extremely proud of Anton earning this award," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "He is most deserving as he established himself as a difference maker both in conference games as well as our out of conference schedule. He is a quality player and a tremendous student-athlete. As the captain of our team he has set the standard for performance on and off the field. I know his teammates are all proud of him and share my sentiments about him. Hopefully he will continue to perform at this level during the A-Sun Tournament."

After leading the Dolphins to the regular season title, Johnson was named A-Sun "Coach of the Year". This was the second "Coach of the Year" honor Johnson has received in his career after picking up the award in 2000 while in charge of the women's team.

"Our team set goals this year," Johnson said. "We talked about individual accolades coming with success and this award is an example of what we talked about as a team when we set our goals. As a coach I am honored but also very humble because this honor means that our team achieved one of their major goals and I am very proud of our team and we are looking forward to the challenge before us in the A-Sun Tournament."

Senior defender Brian Cocciolo earned first team all-conference honors after anchoring the Dolphins' backline. A team captain, Cocciolo started every game this season and tallied a goal and an assist.

"Brian was a preseason all-conference selection and has worked very hard over the last four years to put himself in this position," said Johnson. "He is one of our captains and it's nice to know that his performance this year went noticed."

Sophomore midfielder Stefan Runeman and freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilman received second team all-conference honors. Gilman was also named to the all-freshman team.

"Stefan and Matt both are very integral parts of our team," Johnson said. "They both have performed at a high level throughout the season."

The Dolphins will begin the 2007 A-Sun tournament on Nov. 15, when they take on the winner of the No. 4 Lipscomb and No. 5 Belmont matchup that will be played on Wednesday.