Red Hawk Midfielder Named to NSCAA All-America First Team
Senior midfielder Dan Mendoza’s winning 2012 soccer season was capped off with many honors, including being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association All-America First Team and Montclair State 2012–13 Male Athlete of the Year. “This great honor shows me that all the hard work I put in on and off the field is paying off,” he says.
For Mendoza, it’s all about teamwork. “My teammates push me every day to be that much better,” he says. “They, along with my coaches, deserve recognition for making me the player that I am.”
The physical education and health major was also selected as a First Team All-American by D3Soccer.com, named to the NSCAA All-Region First Team and recognized as the All-NJAC First Team and the NJAC Midfielder of the Year. “Every year, I play against great players from all over, who could just as easily earn that honor.”
The most memorable game for Mendoza was the 2-1 victory against third-ranked Trinity College, where Montclair State advanced to the next round of the “Sweet 16.” “Everyone said we had no chance to win,” he recalls. “Our team showed what a family is about. We worked hard for one another and showed great support when we needed it.”
Yet for Mendoza, soccer has other rewards. “The one thing I’m most proud of on the field is that I can say I am a leader,” he says. “When my team is down, I’ve learned to stand strong and pick them up.”