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Charleston (W. Va.) Athletics | December 20, 2017

UCWV's Vancaeyezeele named National Player of the Year

  Charleston (WV)'s Thomas Vancaeyezeele helped the Golden Eagles win their first national title.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – University of Charleston defender Thomas Vancaeyezeele was named the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer National Player of the Year announced by United Soccer Coaches on Wednesday afternoon.

RELATED: Charleston (WV) wins first NCAA title on PKs

Vancaeyezeele, a senior from Caan, France, earns the honor after helping lead Charleston to their first NCAA title in University history, claiming the 2017 NCAA Division II Men's Soccer championship after defeating Lynn University 3-1 in PK's following a scoreless 110 minutes in Kansas City, Missouri.  Vancaeyezeele was named First Team All-American by both D2CCA and United Soccer Coaches, First Team All-Mountain East, and Mountain East Conference Defender of the Year before being named the DII Player of the Year.

Vancaeyezeele becomes just the second Golden Eagle in University of Charleston/Morris Harvey history to earn the honor of National Player of the Year, joining Ajamu Gaines who earned NCAA DII Men's Basketball Player of the Year in 2000.  The University has had one other National Honor in its history as UC alum and former men's soccer head coach, Chad Duernberger, was named NCAA DII Men's Soccer National Coach of the Year in 2009 following a massive turnaround in Charleston men's soccer, taking the Golden Eagles from four wins in 2008 to the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals in 2009 and finishing the season with 19 victories.

Vancaeyezeele will be honored with the award at the All-America Luncheon on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Philadelphia.  The event honors All-America players at the youth, high school and college levels and is held in conjunction with the 71st annual United Soccer Coaches Convention.