Chesapeake’s Martinsson named all-Region XX
Freshman defender was Skipjacks’ co-captain and fourth-leading scorer
Chesapeake College’s Swedish import, midfielder Daniel Martinsson, was named to the NJCAA Division I all-Region XX second team in men’s soccer.
"I was surprised," Martinsson said Thursday of his selection. "It’s an honor I’m just happy to get recognized."
Chesapeake head coach Mark Dennis said the recognition was well-deserved.
"Dan Martinsson was more than just our best player last season, he brought much-needed on-field leadership to our young team," Dennis said of the 25-year-old Swede. "I would have loved to have been able to play Dan in the midfield because he is such a great ball handler and sees the field so well, but with an all-freshman back line we were forced to play him in the back."
Martinsson, who was Chesapeake’s fourth-leading scorer (two goals, one assist) from his defensive position, moved to Easton from Sweden last January. He said the opportunity to come to America was "a no-brainer."
"My sister lives over here and I had the opportunity to stay with her. I wanted to come over here to get a good education," said Martinsson, who is majoring in business management.
While Martinsson was needed to stabilize an inexperienced defense, that didn’t keep the center back from contributing offensively, according to Dennis.
"Dan still was able to push up the field at times when he would carry the ball from the back or on set plays," explained Dennis, whose team finished with a 3-10 record. "Dan took most of the set plays other than corner kicks because of his excellent ball control and placement."
Martinsson said he was "surprised how good and skilled with the ball some teams were, like Essex," and that he’s hopeful the Skipjacks can take a step forward next year.
"We have some talent," said Martinsson, who played one level below professional soccer in Sweden before a knee injury detoured his playing career. "The guys started figuring out what it took to win games. If we have five or six players back from this year’s team and recruit some new players, I think next season will hopefully be better than it was this year."
Notes: Jake Williams, Chesapeake’s other co-captain and only sophomore, received votes for all-Region, but Dennis said he didn’t make the final cut.
"Jake was deserving, but Region XX seemed to be loaded with soccer talent this season," said Dennis. "Both Dan Martinsson and Jake Williams are not only very good soccer players but excellent young men that represented our soccer team and Chesapeake College in a very positive manner this year."
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