Cunha and Martinez Earn Spots On New England Soccer Journal's Best XI

Cunha and Martinez Earn Spots On New England Soccer Journal's Best XI

MILTON, Mass.—UMass Boston men's soccer captains Marcelo Cunha (Goiania, Brazil) and Denis Martinez (Chelsea, Mass.) were named to the inaugural New England Soccer Journal Division III "Best XI," the publication announced Monday afternoon. 

Cunha was named to the First Team Best XI, while Martinez earned a spot on the Second Team Best XI. The Beacons were the lone Little East Conference team to place anyone on the First or Second Team and had two of the three LEC players who were honored.

Cunha, a senior center back, closes out his career as one of the mostly decorated players in program history. This fall alone, he was named to the Little East Conference First Team, the United Soccer Coaches All-Region Second Team and now the New England Soccer Journal Best XI First Team. For his career, he was named a two-time LEC All-Conference and All-Region Player, and a one-time All-American. 

He ends his career having started and played in a program-record 82 career games. Cunha recorded seven goals and three assists over his career and helped UMass Boston to a 57-19-13 record (.713 winning percent) over those four seasons. Two weeks ago Cunha played his final collegiate game, when he suited up in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer Association Senior All-Star Game. 

Martinez, a junior defensive midfielder, earned a place on the Second Team Best XI after putting together another fantastic campaign in the middle of the field. The junior defensive midfielder helped UMass Boston post seven shutouts and a 0.84 goals against average during a 9-6-3 season.

He also tacked on a goal and assist to tie his career-high for points in a single-season. Martinez played in 16 of 18 games this season despite the fact that he was playing through an injury for the entire year. He will look to lead UMass Boston back to the NCAA Tournament next fall, when the Beacons compete for their fourth LEC Tournament Title in five years.