Balogun selected as an All-American
SMCM men’s soccer player becomes second in history of school to get honor
The season for St. Mary’s College of Maryland men’s soccer concluded in early November, but the awards for individual achievement continue to filter in in the wake of such an amazing season.
St. Mary’s finished 12-4-4 overall and 4-2-1 in the Capital Athletic Conference with the season ending in a 1-0 loss to Mary Washington in the CAC tournament final. The 12 victories marked the fourth 10-win season in the last five years for the Seahawks.
The latest individual honor went to junior forward Khalid Balogun, who was selected as a second-team member on the United Soccer Coaches’ NCAA Division III All-America Teams.
Balogun had 12 goals, seven assists, 31 points and 72 shots this season. He earned his third-straight All-CAC firstteam award after leading the conference in all offensive categories.
This is the second year in a row that a Seahawks men’s soccer player has been selected for the All-American honor. Last year, the honor went to Juwan Kearson, who was the first-ever men’s All-American soccer player selected from St. Mary’s in the history of the college.
Kearson closed out his year as a four-time all-confer-
ence pick, earning first-team awards each of the last three seasons. He started in 72 games in his time with the Seahawks, scored 17 goals, 7 of which were game-winners, and had 16 assists.
Balogun and Kearson were also All-CAC and All-South Atlantic Region first-team selections. The Seahawks produced three other all-CAC selections in junior forward Josh McRobie, sophomore forward Roshawn Panton and junior defender Andrew Kalinoski (a Patuxent High School graduate from Lusby).
“For conference I had first team for All-CAC and earned first team all-region and was All-American too, so I was excited,” Balogun said. “49 people are selected, so it’s insane to think it’s 0.03 percent of of all Division III and it was a big surprise to me. I know it was a Friday night and my coach called me and I kind of knew
already it was for All-American. One of my teammates was in the room with me when I found out. All-region, stretches from Maine to Georgia, so it’s all Division III schools.”
Balogun added: “[Kearson] was the first one to get it for the men’s soccer program, so it was sweet to get it. Our goal is to win the conference every year and we could get the NCAA championship. I was talking to my sister before the season and I told her I could get All-American this year and I’ll keep working hard for reaching my team goals.”
Balogun was proud of the way that the team’s season went, despite losing the CAC
“The game was exciting it could have gone either way, it was bittersweet,” said Balogun. “Next year we will be back with a vengeance.”
Balgoun and Kearson follow in the footsteps of St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Famer and current head coach Alun Oliver.
“A long time ago, I had received all-region, junior and senior year, so it was ‘02 and ‘03, when I won the award,” Oliver said. “Back then we had a very good team, our team chemistry was absolutely fantastic. When I took over [as coach] I wanted the team chemistry to be good and bring in the right people to buy into what we wanted to do”
Oliver added: “We got recognized regionally and nationally. They are fantastic players,
guys that credit to the hard work that they put in in the offseason. They work on the craft and it’s a combination of all of their hard work. They’re integral to the team and to our program. But they are thanking their teammates first.”
Oliver has known Kearson and Balogun since their junior year of high school.
“It’s been such a pleasure for me to have them on the team,” Oliver said. “It’s really great to have that relationship on the field and to have that personally. the biggest thing was creating that culture and then its easier to accomplish goals on the field. It can be tough without having everybody brought in. The success we are having is attributed to great individuals and team chemistry that we have.”
St. Mary’s College of Maryland junior forward Khalid Balogun was selected as a second-team member on the United Soccer Coaches’ NCAA Division III All-America Teams.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland senior forward Juwan Kearson started in 72 games in his time with the Seahawks, scored 17 goals, 7 of which were game-winners, and had 16 assists. Kearson, who was selected as the first All-American in the history of the school last season, is now joined by teammate Khalid Balogun with the honor after Balogun received the honor this season.