Randy E. Blue
University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) men’s soccer standouts Rhys Wallace and Mario Falsone each picked up United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA Division II All-Midwest Region honors, which was announced by the USC last week.
Wallace earned first-team all-region honors, becoming the first first-team all-region selection in program history. Falsone was tabbed with third-team all-region recognition. “I am a proud coach,” UIS coach Adam Hall said.
“These are two talented and hard-working players that have earned it.”
Wallace received Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) second-team all- Midwest Region honors in November. The senior defender from Kilmarnock, Scotland was named to the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) all-conference first team, becoming the first player in program history to earn first-team all-conference recognition and the first player to in program history to receive all-conference honors in multiple years. He was also selected to the All- GLVC Second Team in 2017.
Wallace turned 11 points off five goals and an assist. He delivered three game-winning goals, which tied for third in the conference. In UIS Division II history, Wallace is tied for first in career game-winning goals (5), ranks second in career points per match (0.64), ranks second in career goals per match (0.27), tied for fourth in career goals (9) and ranks fifth in career points (21).
Among UIS Division II single-season leaders, Wallace is tied for second in game-winning goals and tied for fourth in goals.
Falsone received second-team all-GLVC honors last month. The junior forward from Edinburgh, Scotland led the Prairie Stars in scoring by notching 14 points off five goals and four assists. Falsone is tied for first among UIS Division II career leaders with 33 points. Among UIS Division II career leaders, Falsone ranks second with 13 goals and second with seven assists. Falsone trails the school records by one goal and one assist, respectively. Among UIS Division II single-season leaders, Falsone is tied for third in points, tied for third in assists and tied for fourth in points.
In the Division II era, UIS had its first winning season with a 9-6-3 record in addition to breaking the single-season wins record. The Prairie Stars also set a school Division II record with a .583 conference winning percentage and matched last year’s program record of eight GLVC wins despite competing in one fewer match.
UIS also set Division II era records with a 1.14 goals against average and eight shutouts on the season. The Prairie Stars recorded four consecutive shutouts and went 497 minutes, 43 seconds without allowing goal, which are two more school records in the Division II era.
UIS received its first-ever NCAA Division II Midwest Region ranking and peaked at No. 6. The Prairie Stars also peaked at a program-best No. 6 in the United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA Division II Midwest Region poll.