PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley senior forward Wojciech Wojcik (Elmwood Park, Ill./Elmwood Park H.S.) is the second player in Braves history to be named the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Year. Wojcik was one of six Braves honored on the All-MVC squad Thursday night at the league's annual postseason awards banquet at WeaverRidge Golf Course.
While Wojcik was voted the Valley Player of the Year by the league's seven head coaches, fellow Bradley forward Christian Okeke (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider H.S.) was tabbed the 2013 MVC Freshman of the Year. Okeke is the fourth Bradley player selected as the league's top newcomer, following Chris Cutshaw (2006 Freshman of the Year), Chris Dunsheath (2002 Newcomer of the Year) and Gavin Glinton (1999 Newcomer of the Year).
Wojcik joins Joe Donoho (2007) as the only MVC Players of the Year in Bradley Soccer history and the award comes a night after he enjoyed one of his best games as a Brave. The 6-foot-3 point forward dished out three assists to help Bradley (11-6-2) rally for a 3-2, double-overtime win Wednesday night against Evansville in the quarterfinals of the MVC Men's Soccer Championship at Shea Stadium. Wojcik became the second player in league history to distribute three assists in a MVC Tournament game and the trifecta pushed his season total to 13 assists, tying Hamid Mehreioskouei for Bradley's single-season school record.
Okeke also enjoyed a big night for the Braves Wednesday by scoring a pair of goals. The speedy freshman put the Braves on the board just 54 seconds into the quarterfinal match, then forced overtime by scoring the equalizer in the 82nd minute for his sixth goal of the season.
While Wojcik was Bradley's lone representative on the All-MVC First Team, four Braves earned recognition on the Second Team and one earned honorable mention notice. Senior goalkeeper Brian Billings was voted second-team All-MVC for the third consecutive year after posting seven shutouts during the regular-season. Senior forward Alon Badat, sophomore defender Grant Bell and Okeke joined Billings on the second team. Badat and Okeke are tied for second on the team with 15 points, while Badat shared the league lead with three goals in conference play. Bell helps to anchor a back line that has contribute to eight shutouts this season.
Senior defender Jason Coon earned honorable mention All-MVC honors for his play in Bradley's back line. A four-year veteran, Coon has played in 77 games during his Bradley career, often marking the other team's top offensive threat.
Following Wednesday night's thrilling victory, Bradley will take on second-seeded Drake in Friday's second MVC Men's Soccer Championship semifinal game at Shea Stadium. SIU Edwardsville will challenge regular-season champion Missouri State in Friday's 3 p.m. semifinal with the Drake-Bradley game to follow at 6 o'clock.