SLU Dominates A-10 Awards


2014 proved to be both a roller coaster and historical season for the Billikens’ men’s soccer team. The roller coaster ride started with a jump from unranked to #3 in the country after two wins over top 5 teams (Creighton, Louisville). Road woes hurt them shortly after, with losses against Indiana and George Mason, and a double overtime loss at Dayton. However, they bounced back by going undefeated in their final 5 games to propel themselves back into the top 10, and a #2 seed in the upcoming A-10 tournament.

Great play yields great acknowledgment, and the A-10 fully acknowledged the great play of the Bills on Wednesday with their awards announcement. Robert Kristo and Anthony Manning both captured their 3rd straight appearance on the 1st team all A-10 team, while David Graydon made his second straight appearance on the list. 1st timers on the list include Tyler David and Raymond Lee on the second team, with Sascha “Brickenmauer” Otte and Max Karcher snuck into the A-10 all-rookie team.

Individually, SLU nearly swept the competition. Anthony Manning triumphed in the defensive player of the year category for a second straight season. He’s the first to ever do that in the A-10 since the award first started in 2000. Midfielder player of the year honors went to David Graydon.The junior led the team in assists, and acted as the man in the middle directing traffic this past season. Finally, to no surprise, Robert Kristo claimed the offensive player of the year honors. Kristo was able to finish second in points and goals in the conference, while leading the Bills in both categories for the 4th straight season. He’s the first Billiken to do that since Brian Mcbride did it from 1990-1993.

Even with the awards, a long road remains ahead. The Bills will open play against La Salle on Thursday. A victory in that would feed into a match with VCU, who’s hosting the tournament, which might not bode well considering the Bills poor play on the road this year (2-3-2). If the stars align, SLU could set themselves up well for not only an A-10 tournament championship, but also a run at the NCAA title.