RICHMOND, Va. – A change in culture was evident last season for the Virginia Commonwealth University men's soccer program as first-year head coach Dave Giffard guided the Rams to a second-place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association regular season, while leading his squad to the conference tournament for the first time since 2007.

That change in culture also brought new traditions to the program as the Rams recently announced their team awards for the 2010 campaign, a tradition that will carry on throughout Giffard's tenure.

"2010 will begin a yearly tradition of honoring our program's top performers for each season," Giffard said.  "These awards were voted on by the team, recognizing what each of these players has meant to our soccer family this past year.  Being singled out by your teammates is in my opinion, the highest form of recognition a player can receive."

Senior Lucas Paulini, who is currently the captain of the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League, headlined the group receiving the team's Most Valuable Player honor.  Junior Nick Rich was named Defensive Player of the Year, freshman Romena Bowie garnered Rookie of the Year accolades, sophomore Brad Seymour received the program's Most Improved award and senior C.J. Gehin-Scott took home the "Heart of the Rams" honor.


Most Valuable Player: Lucas Paulini
Most Improved: Brad Seymour
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Rich
Rookie of the Year: Romena Bowie
Heart of the Rams: C.J. Gehin-Scott