Albert Ruiz to return for senior season

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(EN Photo / Brad Young)

Two days before the Mac Hermann trophy ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri, FGCU forward Albert Ruiz announced on Twitter that he will be returning to FGCU for his senior season.

“I can officially say that I’ll be playing College soccer for one more season,” Ruiz said on Twitter. “One more year to become a better player. Grind Season is here!”

Although Wake Forrest Midfielder Ian Harkes took home the MAC Hermann trophy besting Maryland’s Gordon Wild and Ruiz, the Barcelona, Spain, native lead the Eagles to their best season in program history.

Leading the nation in goals with 22 and finishing 49 points, Ruiz scored more goals than 74 teams and secured more points than 43 teams.

Propelling the Eagles to the second round of the NCAA College Cup for the first time in program history after scoring the last penalty kick to send FGCU past USF. Ruiz scored five goals in four postseason games including a goal against UNC who knocked the Eagles out of the College Cup with a 3-2 overtime victory.

Guiding FGCU to its fourth ASUN Championship title in six seasons, Ruiz propelled the Eagles to a No. 11 national ranking, including a program-best 10 game win streak during being ranked in the top 15.

The awards rolled in following Ruiz’s historic campaign in which he averaged 1.10 goals per game and 2.45 points per game, being named a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, NSCAA First Team All-American, ASUN Player of the Year, ASUN First Team member, ASUN Tournament MVP and ASUN All-Tournament team member. Ruiz was also named the ASUN Player of the week and National Player of the week on Sept. 19 and Oct. 3.

Under new reigns after program founder Bob Butehorn resigned from his position to accept the head coaching job at USF, Ruiz’s return to a young-but-experienced Eagles side in the beginning of a new era without their program-founding skipper.