12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Machingauta Shines in U.S.

PROMISING young Zimbabwean footballer, Tapiwa Machingauta, has been included in the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Midwest Region team for 2012 in the United States. Machingauta, a former pupil of Prince Edward High School in Harare, is in his last of a four-year football scholarship at Bradley University at Peoria in Illinois.

And for the second consecutive year, Bradley has placed three players, including Zimbabwean Machingauta, on the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Midwest Region soccer team.

The Bradley trio includes junior goalkeeper Brian Billings. While Billings earned third-team honours for the all-region team for the second straight year, senior striker Jochen Graf and senior defender Machingauta both landed on the All-Midwest Region second team.

The trio helped Bradley to a 10-6-4 overall record in 2012 and a third-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

According to Bradley University's official website, Machingauta was the only Brave to start all 20 games in 2012 and he played all but 46 minutes the entire season, anchoring Bradley's backline from his sweeper position.

In addition to his defensive work, which helped Bradley to five shutouts and limited the opposition to just 4,7 shots on goal per game, Machingauta recorded a pair of assists this year.

Despite missing seven games due to injury, Graf, meanwhile, shared team-leading honours with seven goals in 2012, including a pair of game-winning strikes.

With seven goals and 16 points in just 13 games, Graf led The Valley by averaging 0,54 goals per game and 1,23 points per game.

He ended his career tied for eighth in Bradley history with 14 career assists, equalling the most by a Brave since Luke Kreamalmeyer (20) and Preston Good (15) ended their Bradley careers in 2004.

Billings posted a 9-6-4 record between the goalposts in 2012, recording 4,0 shutouts and a 1,15 goals against average. Machingauta is expected to return home to Zimbabwe at the weekend.

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