USF head coach, Walcutt reaps post-season CL rewards

HARTFORD CITY, Ind. – University of Saint Francis Head Coach Mitch Ellisen and Cougars’ leading scorer Jason Walcutt have been voted winners of two of the four major Crossroads League post-season awards.

Ellisen has been named Crossroads League Coach of the Year after the Cougars went from worst to a tie for first in the league in 2013. USF finished 1-8 in 2012 and finished 10th in the CL.

Walcutt (Fort Wayne, IN / Carroll H.S.) is the first USF player ever selected for the CL Offensive Player of the Year award. The Carroll High School grad finished the regular season with 17 goals, the most since Mark Sabino scored 17 in 2001.

Cougars joining Walcutt on the All-CL first team included sophomore forward Alexis Ferreira da Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and keeper Brad Buzzard (Huntington, IN / Huntington H.S.). Nate Byrd (Fort Wayne, IN / Carroll H.S.), a sophomore defender, was named to the All-CL second team.

He has had six game-winning goals for the Cougars, which ranks No. 3 in NAIA. Last week Walcutt became the first USF play selected NAIA Player of the Week after scoring two game-winning goals, three overall, to help USF tie for the CL regular-season crown with 21 points, 7-2 in CL play.

Ellisen, who was born in Lubbock, Tex., guided the Cougars to their first conference title since 2003 and third overall in the 50th season of competition. USF finished 13-4-1 overall, the most wins since Ellisen guided the Cougars to the 2003 Mid-Central College Conference title and a 13-9-1 record. Ellisen is 144-142-15 in his 15th season as USF head coach including Saturday’s 3-2 win over Taylor in the opening round of the Crossroads League Tournament. This is his 22nd season as a head coach and he has a record of 224-188-21. Ellisen graduated from the University of Charleston (W. Va.) in 1983.

Jason Walcutt became the first player in 50 years of USF soccer to earn NAIA Offense Player of the Week on Tues., Oct. 22. He scored 2 game-winning goals for USF and passed his uncle, Carlos Cruz (1991-94), on the USF career goals scored list with 37. Cruz finished with 35. On Sat., Oct. 26, Walcutt scored his 18th goal of the season and is now tied for fifth on the USF career list with 38. His 18 goals this season is the most since Brian Barker scored 28 in 1981 and ranks No. 4 on the USF single-season list behind Barker who had 20 in 1980 and 19 in 1979. The Carroll High School graduate is No. 3 in NAIA game winning goals (6), No. 6 in goals scored (18) and No. 10 in points scored (39) this season. Walcutt has five multi-goal games this season with a high of three against Indiana Tech.

Jason Walcutt NAIA Top 50 Rankings
No. 3 in Total Game Winning Goals (6)
No. 6 in Total Goals (18)
No. 10 in Total Points (39.000)
No. 18 in Game Winning Goals per Game (0.320)
No. 20 in Goals per Game (0.950)
No. 38 in Points per Game (2.050)

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.