Fort Lewis' Kling chosen as NSCAA Division II Player of the Year
Courtesy Chris Aaland, Fort Lewis Assistant Director of Athletics for External Operations and Communications
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Fort Lewis College captain Fabian Kling was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division II Player of the Year, the NSCAA announced yesterday.
Kling and the rest of the Players of the Year and All-Americans from NCAA Divisions II and III and NAIA will be recognized at the annual All-America luncheon, to be held in the Kansas City Convention Center's Grand Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2011, in conjunction with the 2012 NSCAA Convention.
"Fabian, in my opinion, will go down as one of the best players to ever have represented our illustrious program," said third-year FLC head coach Oige Kennedy, who has led the Skyhawks to a pair of national titles in 2009 and 2011. "He has achieved something only one other Fort Lewis player has done in becoming the NCAA Division II Player of the Year. He also joined an elite group of players in winning a second national championship.
"We are extremely excited to see what he will do next," Kennedy added. "He has a remarkable talent and we hope he will be given the opportunity to progress onto the professional soccer level. He will certainly be missed next season and will be an extremely hard player to replace on and off the field."
Kling joins John Cunliffe, a striker on the Skyhawks side from 2003-06, in receiving a national Player of the Year award. Cunliffe, who played two seasons in Major League Soccer for Chivas USA and the San Jose Earthquakes, won the 2006 Daktronics NCAA Division II Player of the Year honor.
NSCAA awards are voted on by head men's soccer coaches across the country.
Kling is a 6-foot-3 senior defender from Holbein Gymnasium in Augsburg, Germany and a four-time All-American (NSCAA and Daktronics first teams in 2011, NSCAA and Daktronics third teams in 2010). He's also a six-time All-Central Region selection (three each by NSCAA and Daktronics). Earlier this season, Kling was chosen as the Defensive Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four, the Most Valuable Player of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament, and the RMAC's Defensive Player of the Year, and a RMAC All-Academic first team selection.
Despite missing seven games due to a serious knee injury, Kling still totaled 16 points on seven goals and two assists from his central defender position. He ranks among FLC career leaders in games played (fourth, 86), goals (sixth, 28), and total points (tenth, 61).
The Skyhawks captured their third NCAA Division II championship in 2011, having previously won national titles in 2005 and 2009. FLC was national runners-up in 1999 and 2006. Fort Lewis posted a 24-1-0 overall record, 13-1-0 in RMAC games. The Skyhawks also won NCAA-II Central Region, RMAC regular season, and RMAC tournament titles.
Kling was one of six Skyhawks to earn NSCAA/Continental Tire All-America honors. Four FLC players — Berekk Blackwell, Thomas Hoang, Kling, and Ryan Wirth — were named to the first team. Joey Madigan earned second team honors, while Cory Dean was a third team selection.