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Ocel and Spital earn All-American honors

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Sports

December 7, 2012

Both Sam Ocel ’13 and Dara Spital ’15 were named third-team All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Ocel, who was also named the UAA Player of the Year, was instrumental in leading the Judges to an 18-3-1 record and a final NSCAA ranking of 13th in the country as the program enjoyed a resurgence onto the national stage.

In the Judges’ run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, Ocel accounted for all three of their goals scored in wins against Baruch College and Vassar College. Ocel tallied 13 goals on the season, including nine game-winners.

Ocel finished the season 15th on the all-time Judges scoring list with 23 goals and 19 assists for a total of 65 points. He is the sixth Brandeis player to be named an All-American and fifth under Coach Mike Coven, but he is the first to be given the honor since 1996. Ocel will continue his career next season as a graduate student after being granted an extra year of eligibility for an injury that caused him to miss the entirety of his sophomore season.

Spital, a transfer from Division I University of Central Florida, helped lead the women’s program to a record of 16-5-2 and a final ranking of eighth in the NSCAA coaches poll. It was the most successful season in school history as the team reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament before falling to Misericordia University.

Spital was the team’s leading scorer this season with 14 goals and five assists for a total of 33 points. In addition to being named an All-American, Spital was also named a first-team All-UAA selection as her 33 points tied for first in the conference.

She becomes the fifth All-American selection in program history and the second in the past four years; however, she is the only Judges’ player to receive the honor before her senior season.

Spital will return with the majority of her teammates to continue their success next season.

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