Four Virginia Tech men’s soccer players and men’s soccer head coach Mike Brizendine have earned accolades in the 2021 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State team.
Jacob Labovitz was named the Player of the Year while Kyle McDowell and Ben Martino earned first-team honors and Danny Flores received second-team recognition.
This year marks the second season in a row that Tech has claimed the Player of the Year (Daniel Pereira, 2020) and the Coach of the Year awards.
Labovitz, a first team All-ACC selection last season, led the Hokies in scoring this season with nine goals, matching his tally from the 2020 season. Following his two-goal performance against Virginia that included a double-overtime winner, Labovitz was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week. In 2020, Labovitz was named to the VaSID All-State first team.
McDowell also earns his second All-State recognition from VaSID, although this is the defender’s debut on the first team. The West Sussex, England, native led the Hokies with eight assists, a tally good for fourth in the ACC and second amongst defenders.
Martino stepped up in goal in his rookie season, starting 18 matches and recording five clean sheets.
The goalkeeper from Pittsburgh, Penn., averaged 3.56 saves per game, the third-best number in the conference. At the end of the season, Martino was named the No. 20 freshman in the country and second-team All-Freshman by Top Drawer Soccer.
Flores, who was named to the ACC’s All-Freshman team and first team All-Freshman by Top Drawer Soccer, picked up second-team VaSID honors. The midfielder from Half Moon Bay, Calif., started 19 contests for the Hokies. Flores recorded three assists on the season and one goal, a game-winner in overtime against Notre Dame.
Brizendine claimed his third VaSID Coach of the Year award. His first came in 2016, the season
that kickstarted the Hokies’ ongoing six-year streak of making the NCAA Tournament. This season Tech was the only Division I school in Virginia to qualify for the tournament.
Virginia Tech also claimed its fourth victory over a No.-1 ranked team (the third since Brizendine became head coach) when it defeated Marshall.
The members of Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) also voted Radford University men’s soccer forward Yoshiya Okawa as Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-State.
Okawa appeared in 16 games, made 13 starts, and tallied six goals and one assist for 13 total points. Fifteen of his 27 shot attempts landed on frame, giving him an impressive .556 shots-on-goal percentage.
The Tokyo, Japan, native delivered several dazzling long-distance strikes this fall, earning himself a place on the All-Big South Second Team as well as the Big South All-Freshman Team. He ended the year ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both goals per game and total goals.
Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) name 44 all-state teams in 23 sports each year as well as an Academic All-State squad and an all-sports champion in both the university and college divisions.
Membership in VaSID is open to all media relations professionals working at a university or conference in the state of Virginia.