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Mark Roth and Marco da Cunha tabbed USC All-Americans

November 29, 2018 at 9:27 pm
By Annika Martensson ’19
Mark Roth (left) and Marco da Cunha were both voted to the USC All-America team.
Mark Roth (left) and Marco da Cunha were both voted to the USC All-America team.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Carleton College senior defender Mark Roth (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) and first-year forward Marco da Cunha (San Francisco, Calif./San Francisco University) were both voted to the United Soccer Coaches (USC) All-American team.

After being selected to the USC All-North Region First Team earlier this week, both Roth and da Cunha were designated second-team All-Americans in recognition of their spectacular play for the MIAC Playoff champion Knights.

A total of 49 players across the country earned a spot on the USC’s All-America first, second, and third teams. That group includes 20 forwards, 15 defenders, 11 midfielders, and three goalkeepers.         

“The entire Carleton Men’s Soccer community including families, alums, coaches, and players are thrilled for Mark and Marco,” said Carleton head coach Bob Carlson. “The well-earned awards are a credit to their terrific individual talent and outstanding performances this fall. Marco and Mark also understand that their success is built on the team’s success, and they excitedly share these honors with the entire program.”

Roth and da Cunha are the fourth and fifth Carleton men’s soccer players to earn All-America status, as that group has totaled seven such awards. This marks the second time in Carleton men’s soccer history that two players have earned All-America recognition in the same season, joining the tandem of Neil Bartholomay and Branden McGarrity, who achieved the feat in 2012. The Knights were the only MIAC program and one of only seven DIII teams to have multiple players awarded All-America status this season.

Roth is the third Carleton defender to earn All-American distinction. Meanwhile, da Cunha is one of only four first-years to be voted to the USC All-America team this season. He joins McGarrity as the only two Carleton first-years to be named men’s soccer All-Americans.

Roth was one of only 15 defenders in NCAA Division III to claim All-America status this season. He was a key player for one of the stingiest defenses in the country as the Knights’ .503 goals against average ranked second in the North Region, eighth in D-III and 17th across all three NCAA divisions. Meanwhile, Carleton’s region-best 12 shutouts on the year were 12th in D-III and ranked within the top-20 across all divisions of NCAA men’s soccer.

The dual-threat defender helped lead the Knights attack as well. His eight assists on the season were the most for any defender in the region, the fifth most among D-III defenders, and tied for seventh for all NCAA defenders throughout the 2018 season. Roth also scored his first four career goals this season and tied the MIAC lead with a trio of game-winning goals during conference play.

Roth adds this latest recognition as an All-American to a long list of career accolades that include his selection as a two-time All-North Region defender, a three-time all-conference performer, and the 2018 MIAC Player-of-the-Year.

“Mark simply excelled in every way possible this year,” Carlson said. “Defending in crucial moments, saving shots off the line, scoring game-winning goals, providing timely assists, storming up and down his right flank, and always competing for the entire 90 minutes—and sometimes 110 minutes—he willed his team to a conference championship. Most importantly, behind the scenes, his selfless and determined leadership guided, supported, and pushed his teammates to perform at their best. His unwavering positive approach reinforced Carleton Men’s Soccer’s legacy of togetherness, hard work, and commitment to excellence on and off the field.”

Meanwhile, da Cunha was one of only five first-year D-III players named to an All-America team, capping off what was one of the most prolific rookie seasons in Carleton and MIAC history. The flashy frontrunner netted a MIAC-best 11 goals in the regular season, a total that is tied for sixth on Carleton’s single-season scoring list and tied da Cunha for 12th most in that time span amongst all first-year D-III players. His seven goals during conference games paced the MIAC, becoming only the fourth rookie since 1986—and first since 2002—to do so.

Five of da Cunha’s 11 goals were game winners, which tied for 20th among all D-III players this season and fifth most amongst all NCAA rookies this season.

“Marco had a remarkable season,” said Carlson. “His pace, skill, and ability to finish impressed from the moment he stepped on campus. All season long, he scored stunning and vital goals and sparked our attack. We also asked a ton of Marco as a freshman, and he delivered day in and day out. He’s got an engine and a will that does not quit, and like Mark his tireless effort inspired his teammates. We’re delighted Marco will be leading our program for the next three years and are eager to see him continue to excel after an exceptional first year.”

Three other MIAC players who also named to USC All-American squads in 2018. Matthew Gibbons of Gustavus Adolphus was a second-team pick, while Daniel Hedstrom of Augsburg University and Will Kidd of University of St. Thomas were third-team selections.

Thanks in large part to the All-America duo, Carleton finished its historic season with a 16-2-3 ledger, one victory shy of the team record. The Knights’ season included their MIAC-record 12th consecutive trip to the conference’s postseason tournament, a MIAC Playoff Championship, a return to the NCAA Championships, and a 16-match unbeaten streak stretching nearly two months.

CARLETON MEN’S SOCCER ALL-AMERICANS

2008 – Robert Carlton (defender) – NSCAA Second-Team All-America
2009 – Robert Carlton (defender) – NSCAA Second-Team All-America
2012 – Neil Bartholomay (defender) – NSCAA Second-Team All-America
2012 – Branden McGarrity (forward)* – NSCAA Third-Team All-America
2013 – Neil Bartholomay (defender) – NSCAA Second-Team All-America
2018 – Mark Roth (defender) – USC Second-Team All-America
2018 – Marco da Cunha (forward)* – USC Second-Team All-America

*won award as a first-year
#USC was previously called the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)