Roselle Park’s Avans Earns 1st Team All-NJAC Accolades

PITMAN — New Jersey City University senior forward Walter Avans (Roselle Park/Union Catholic) was the offensive spark in the Gothic Knight’s late season run into conference playoff contention and for the third consecutive season, he has been selected to the All-New Jersey Athletic Conference team. Avans, a Second-Team All-NJAC pick in 2009 and 2010, earned First-Team All-NJAC accolades, in voting by the conference’s 10 head coaches.

Avans, who finished his career ranking No. 2 in school history with 39 career goals and third with 89 points, is the first Gothic Knight to earn First-Team All-NJAC status since Cristhian Acuna, John Bernal and Edison Bilbao all received the nod in 2008.

Avans finished the season with 12 goals and five assists on 29 points in 17 games (13 starts). He attempted 56 shots (33 shots on goal), scored the first goal of a game three times while bagging a pair of hat tricks, with one game-winner. He led NJCU in goals, assists—a career high in helpers—points, shots, and shots on goal. His 1,099 minutes played were sixth most on the team and most by a forward.

On Sept. 4, Avans broke school records that had stood since the mid-1970s when he netted five goals and 10 points in a rout of Medgar Evers College.

As of Nov. 3, Avans ranked third in the NJAC in points per game (1.71), goals per game (0.71), and assists, fourth in total points, fifth in goals and assists per game (0.29), ninth in shots, 10th in shots per game (3.29), and 19th in game-winners.

“He is a team-oriented, hard-working player who has a nose for the goal and knows how to be in the right place at the right time,” noted third-year head coach Nansha Kalonji. “He was a little more disciplined and mature this year. He believed he could be one of the best players in this conference and he worked hard at it. He never quits and has gotten better every season because of the offseason improvements he made. His dedication got him to where he is today. He did not want to come off the field and we couldn’t take him off during the last six games.”

Within league play, Avans ranks fourth in points per game (1.38), goals per game (0.62) and goals (5), seventh in game-winners (1), 15th in shots per game (2.75), was 16th in shots (22), and 27th in assists (1). Most notable were his hat trick in a 5-1 rout of The College of New Jersey on October 22, and his first goal in a 4-2 win over Ramapo College on October 24. He also scored in a 2-1 loss at Richard Stockton College.

Avans finished his career with 39 goals, 11 assists, 89 points, 179 shots and 99 shots on goal with a .553 shots on goal percentage and two game-winners, making 3-of-4 penalty kick tries. He played in 66 games over 3,887 minutes for NJCU. In addition to his ranking in goals and points, he his tied for third all-time in shots on goal, ranks eighth in goals per game (0.59), ninth in points per game (1.35) and 10th in shots per game (2.71).

Nationally, in games played through Oct. 30, the senior tri-captain was among the NCAA leaders in total goals (47th), total points (51st), goals per game (59th), points per game (62nd) and total assists (203rd).

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