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SouthtownStar Athletes on Campus: Rhode Island’s Matt Ribbens honored by Atlantic 10

Matt Ribbens Tinley Park resident University Rhode Islsoccer player. | Supplied photo

Matt Ribbens, Tinley Park resident and University of Rhode Island soccer player. | Supplied photo

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Updated: December 19, 2012 1:25PM



University of Rhode Island men’s soccer player Matt Ribbens was selected the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 28.

In addition, the Tinley Park resident also was named to the College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week, as well as New England Soccer News Player of the Week.

Ribbens’ Atlantic 10 honor was the first in his career from the conference, and his Soccer News nod was the first for the Rhode Island program since 2009.

In the Rams’ 1-0 win Oct. 26 over visiting Duquesne, Ribbens assisted on the game-winning goal. Two days later, Ribbens, who prepped at Andrew, scored three goals and added an assist in URI’s 4-1 win over visiting St. Bonaventure.

Ribbens’ hat trick was the first of his career and was the first by a Ram since 2006.

In 18 matches this season, Ribbens, a senior midfielder, finished with five goals and three assists for 13 points as the Rams were 4-11-3 overall and 3-5-1 in the Atlantic 10. Ribbens tied for the team lead in goals and points this season while tying for second in assists.

In addition to his efforts against St. Bonaventure, Ribbens also scored once in a 4-3 win Sept. 18 over visiting New Hampshire as well as in a 3-2 loss Oct. 14 to visiting St. Joseph.

For his career at Rhode Island, Ribbens appeared in 63 matches, scoring nine goals and eight assists for 26 points.

Pioneering spirit

Two Southland residents on Prairie State College’s women’s soccer team earned postseason awards. Freshman forward Lucina Gonzalez (Bloom) had 22 goals and two assists for 46 points in 13 games. As a result, she was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s All-Region IV team, as well as the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference’s First Team.

Gonzalez, who set a school record for goals in a season, scored five times in conference play.

Freshman defender Guadalupe Mendez (Bloom) was chosen to the All-Conference Second Team. In 14 games, Mendez finished with three goals and two assists for eight points.

Get smart

Lewis University’s softball team has been honored for finishing the 2011-12 school year in eighth place in the NCAA Division II National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-Academic Team rankings. The Flyers finished with a 3.48 cumulative grade-point average and in the top 10 for the first time since 2007-08.

Of the 12 athletes on the softball team who were lauded as NFCA Scholar-Athletes for having a GPA of 3.5 or better, two have Southland connections.

Lockport graduate Kelly Bowler maintained a 3.777 GPA, while Marist alumna Michelle Vucsko posted a 3.641 GPA.

“It’s great to see our Lewis Flyers softball team back in the NFCA’s Top 10 ranking for team GPA,” Lewis softball coach George DiMatteo said in a statement. “It gives me great satisfaction to see that our team achieved this tough accomplishment.”



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