Two UNCP Athletes Named Peach Belt Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year


Stephen Ademolu, of the UNCP men's soccer team, and Simonae Taylor of the women's soccer team, have been named Freshman Player of the Year in the Peach Belt Conference.

Stephen AdemoluAs the top freshman vote-getter from the league's seven head coaches for the Peach Belt All-Conference team, Ademolu became the first Brave to earn the Freshman of the Year honor.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ademolu was the only Braves player named to the fifteen player all-conference team. The team was selected by the league's seven head coaches. Coaches did not vote for their own players.

The true freshman ended the regular season with 11 goals and three assists, and he finished third in the conference in total points, averaging 1.56 per game.

Ademolu was named PBC Player of the Week on October 22 having scored three goals in two games and assisting in the fourth goal.

Taylor, a native of Jacksonville, N.C., scored a total of 16 goals and had three assists in 16 regular season games for UNCP.

Simonae TaylorHer average of one goal per game contributed to the Lady Braves' seven wins in just the first year of women's soccer at UNCP. UNCP ended the regular season 7-8-1 and lost to Francis Marion in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.

"I am very proud and pleased with the coaches in the Peach Belt for recognizing Simonae as the best freshman in the conference even though she was not on a team with a winning record," said Head Coach Lars Andersson. "It shows how strong of a conference the Peach Belt is and how creditable its coaches are."

Taylor's first season was highlighted by her scoring a hat trick on two separate occasions. Against Peace College, Taylor had four of the team's seven goals. The second three-goal game for Taylor came three weeks later in UNCP's 5-0 shutout over Converse College.

Additionally, Taylor scored at least one goal in 10 of the games, and at one point in the season, the true freshman scored at least one goal in six consecutive games.

"I knew Simonae was a special player the first time I saw her play," said Andersson. "She is a true competitor who is willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to be the best, and she is the type of player on which to build a new program."