NCAA Division III

Messiah forward Josh Wood named NSCAA Division III Men’s Soccer POY

Photo: Courtesy of Messiah Athletics

After claiming their 10th National Championship in a 2-1 win against Rutgers-Camden last Saturday, Messiah Athletics honored the men’s soccer squad during halftime of the men’s basketball game.

In addition to honoring the squad, Sports Information Director Steve King made a special announcement: Fifth-Year Senior Forward Josh Wood had been named NSCAA’s Division III men’s soccer Player of the Year. Wood becomes the seventh Falcon to win NSCAA Player of the Year since 2002. Last year, then sophomore Jeremy Payne won the same honor.

This award caps Wood’s illustrious career at Messiah. During his freshman 2009 season, Wood led the Commonwealth Conference with 19 goals and was second in the conference with five assists. As a result, he was named Commonwealth Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Commonwealth Conference, and Second Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors.

Unfortunately, Wood sustained a season-ending injury during his sophomore year that resulted in a medical redshirt. During his junior year, Wood appeared in 10 games and scored one goal before missing the remaining of his junior year due to a similar injury.

After recovering from injury and making his way back to the pitch, Wood’s senior year picked-up where his freshman year ended. Starting in 16 of 25 games, Wood played a key part to Messiah’s 2012 title with ten goals and earned Second Team All-Conference. Additionally, he was named CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District.

2013 was Wood’s best season yet. With a full year of soccer after returning from injury, Wood led Messiah to their 10th national title. Starting in all 26 Messiah games, Woods was the team’s leading goalscorer with 21 goals (seventh best nationally) and also seven assists. His .81 goals per game average and 49 total points ranked 31st and seventh nationally, respectively.

The Player of the Year award adds to an already impressive list of awards this season. This year alone, Wood has earned First Team All-Commonwealth, First Team Academic All-District, and First Team Mid-Atlantic All-Region. As a result of earning the last two awards, Wood is eligible to win the Academic All-American and All-American awards which should be announced later in December.

In addition to Wood’s award-filled season, he joined an elite club this season. In four seasons actively playing, Wood was a part of four National Championships.

Wood’s Player of the Year honor is well-deserved. At the same time, Wood’s perseverance and hard work led him through his comeback.
Harrisburg-affiliate CBS 21 was on hand at the basketball match, and caught up with Josh Wood after the announcement for an interview.

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