Ritchie collects regional recognition

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced its all-region teams last week and Fredonia’s Jimmy Ritchie was on it.

Ritchie, a senior, made the All-East Third Team as a forward. He had seven goals — two were game-winners — and two assists in 2016 as the Blue Devils recorded a 11-7-2 record and earned the No. 3 seed in the SUNYAC with a 6-3-1 league mark.

With eight more wins than last year, the Blue Devils were among NCAA Division III’s most improved teams.

“Several players had to step up for us to have had the season that we had this year,” Head Coach P.J. Gondek said. “I have said many times it was a total team effort, but I would say this about Jimmy Ritchie: He elevated his game, his work rate and his fitness to a level that we had not seen before from him. It was very evident that opposing teams, many times, did not have an answer for his athleticism. It was one of the keys to our season.”

Earlier this off-season, Ritchie was named Second Team All SUNYAC and three teammates were named Third Team. In addition, two other players were selected to the SUNYAC All-Tournament team.

Ritchie is Fredonia’s first all-region player since midfielder Ryan Smith, then a junior, made the All-East team in 2011.