BOSTON – UMBC senior defender Malcolm Harris (Damascus, Md./McDonogh) was selected as America East Conference's Defender of the Year, as the conference announced its major award winners and all-conference honors on the eve of the 2015 league championships.
Harris and sophomore midfielder Gregg Hauck (Linthicum, Md./North County) earned First Team honors, with each cited for the first time. Senior midfielder Michael Scott (Fife, Scotland) and junior goalkeeper Billy Heavner (Landisville, Pa.) each pulled down Second Team and All-Academic Team honors. A duo of standout freshmen, midfielder Patrick Jean-Gilles (Woodbridge, Va.) and defender Kyle Saunderson (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) were tabbed to the All-Rookie Team.
Once an inexperienced defense lost the services of freshman Tyler Ward (Buford, Ga.), Harris was converted from an attacking midfield position to right fullback. The tri-captain helped stabilize the unit, which permitted a league-low 0.89 goals per contest. In America East play, UMBC tied for the league-lead with three shutouts. Harris has three assists this season and four goals and 14 assists in his collegiate career.
Harris is the fourth consecutive Retriever to earn the league's top honor for a fullback. Oumar Ballo was selected in 2013 and 2014, while Liam Paddock earned the award in 2012.
Hauck has performed brilliantly in his second season, especially in league play. A defensive midfielder, Hauck tallied game-winning goals in all three UMBC AE victories this fall. The 2014 America East Championships Most Outstanding Player has posted four goals and three assists as a sophomore.
Heavner, who just earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, repeated as an All-Academic Team member. The financial economics major, who is carrying a 3.93 grade-point average, has posted seven shutouts in 2015 and league bests in goals against average (0.85) and save percentage (81.2). He has recorded 15 career shutouts in just two playing seasons, already fifth on UMBC's all-time list.
Scott has posted a career-best six assists, tied for second in America East. He recorded a goal or an assist on UMBC's first four AE goals of the season and is the team's second-leading scorer with three goals and 12 total points. Also a financial economics major and repeat All-Academic team member, Scott is nearing completion of his degree with a 3.62 gpa.
Jean-Gilles capped his first campaign in brilliant fashion, scoring a pair of goals as UMBC moved into a tie for second place in America East with a 3-0 victory over Stony Brook. The central midfielder has started the final 17 games of the season and currently stands with three goals and one helper.
Saunderson was given the unenviable task of trying to replace part of UMBC's stellar central defense from 2014. He started all 18 games and contributed an assist on Hauck's game-winner on Wednesday versus Stony Brook.
The two All-Rookie Team members are UMBC's most since three Retrievers made the grade in 2007.