Graumann leads 5 MLC players with UMAC honors

NEW ULM — Five Martin Luther College men’s soccer players earned awards or recognition from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference on Tuesday.

Joe Graumann was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, and was also named First Team All-UMAC. Gabriel Plocher and Aaron Swanson joined him as First Team All-UMAC.

Josh Koelpin was named Second Team All-UMAC, while Hugo Ugalde-Bemer received honorable mention all-conference honors.

Graumann earned the award as the league’s top offensive player after leading the UMAC in goals (10), assists (seven), points (27), and shots (51) during conference play.

The junior forward was named Second Team All-UMAC after each of his first two seasons, but set new career-highs in goals (12), assists (eight) and points (32) this season. His eight assists tied for third-most in a single-season in program history, while the 12 goals tied for the ninth-best total. He now ranks sixth in program history in both career goals (28) and career points (69).

Plocher made the most of his senior season after waiting his turn in a back-up role for most of his first three-seasons. He finished third in the UMAC in goals against average (1.54), save percentage (.782), saves per game (5.67), and shutouts (three) in conference play this season.

Swanson started the season at forward and scored a pair of goals in the first four games of league play, but moved to defense prior to the team’s 4-1 win over North Central on October 2 and played the final eight games as a center back. In those eight games, the Knights went 6-2 while outscoring opponents 21-10 and recorded three shutouts in the final four games on the way to securing a third-place finish.

Koelpin earned his first all-conference honor after a strong senior campaign. Similar to Swanson, Koelpin started the season with more of an offensive role, but moved to a defensive midfield spot in early October to help solidify that side of the field. On offense, Koelpin finished with one goal and four assists. He finished his career tied for eighth in school history with 14 career assists.

Ugalde-Bemer recorded his best season as a senior in 2018, finishing second on the team in goals (four), assists (seven), and points (15). Ugalde-Bemer scored all four of his goals and recorded four of his seven assists in UMAC play, and was also named UMAC Offensive Player of the Week once following a dazzling two-goal performance at Minnesota Morris late in the season.

Senior Dan Wessel was named the MLC recipient of the Sportsmanship Award, given to one player on each team who best exemplifies sportsmanship throughout the season.