Ashburn, VA (December 18, 2016) – Earlier this month the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) selected Briar Woods Alumni and CNU senior midfielder Jimmy Grace as a first team All-American.
Grace becomes just the fifth first team NSCAA All-American in program history and the first since Jalon Brown earned the nod in 2012. The list also includes midfielders Gerard Mosley (1986), Brian Lybert and defender Sean Moriarty (2011) as well.
The Captains captured the second Capital Athletic Conference Championship in three years and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time.
Grace was named the CAC Player of the Year after a banner season in which he led the league in scoring with 32 points. The first team All-Conference selection became just the third player in league history to have earned both Rookie and Player of the Year honors during his career. He earned CAC Player of the Week honors once and his accolades were not limited to the soccer field, as he was selected as a CoSIDA Academic All-District pick for the first time in his career as well.
The marquee player as part of one of the top offensive units in the nation, Grace notched career best performances in every statistical category. He led the nation’s 23rd-ranked scoring offense as CNU was limited to fewer than two goals only three times this season, including a run of seven straight multiple-goal games to start the season, in which Grace tallied at least one point in each. He finished the year with 13 goals and six assists, including a pair of goals in the NCAA Tournament.
Perhaps most impressively, Grace pieced together his sensational season after missing all of 2015 with an injury. He returned to the pitch with a fury this season, ranking third among field players in minutes played (1688) and 14th nationally in game-winning goals. He finished the year 4-for-5 on penalty kicks, ranking as the second most in a single season and fourth most for a career. While his offensive numbers were particularly impressive, his biggest asset was his control of the midfield for head coach Steve Shaw. His technical prowess and savvy first touch led to several breaks for the CNU offense, and as a tough challenger defensively, he frustrated a number of opposing threats.
A summary of Jimmy Grace’s career is listed below:
2015 – Junior – Did not play (injury)…Member of the CAC All-Academic Team.
2014 – Sophomore – Second team All-Conference selection…Continued to look strong in his first full year as a starter in the midfield…Ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 13 points on four goals and five assists…Had five points in the NCAA Tournament, including a game-winning goal in the opening round against Lynchburg…Finished season with two game-winners, as the other came against defending national runner-up Rutgers-Camden on September 20…Registered a three-assist performance against Southern Virginia on October 7…Added an assist in the postseason against Whitworth in the Sweet 16…Member of the CAC All-Academic Team.
2013 – Freshman – Earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors by the Capital Athletic Conference…Named as second team All-Conference and All-State (VaSID) selection…Appeared in all 20 games, joining the starting lineup halfway through the season to make nine starts…Scored four goals and added two assists, with all but one scoring tally coming in the second half of the season…Tallied a pair of goals versus Southern Virginia on Oct. 9 in his first collegiate start…Took 26 total shots, with 12 on-goal…Named to CAC All-Academic Team.
At Briar Woods – Played in the midfield all four years under head coach Francois Bernard…Won district championship as a junior and region championship senior year…Earned All-District honors twice and All-Loudoun team his senior year…Loudoun Soccer Player of the Year in 2013
Personal – James Richard Grace was born in Columbia, Md…Son of Jim and Margaret Grace…Has two brothers, Brendan and Evan, and one sister, Patricia…Father played college soccer at the University of Scranton…Favorite sports personality is Jack Wilshere…Favorite movie is “Miracle”…Favorite book is “The Kite Runner”…Has not yet decided on a major.
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