It’s no question that Southern Poly will miss him next season.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior forward from Lagos, Nigeria, wasn’t overly vocal, but when he would speak, everyone would listen.
At least, that’s how coach Kom Momeni described Maduka’s personality.
Maduka was named a third-team NAIA All-American last week after leading the Hornets to a 15-6-1 record and a trip to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA championship for the second straight year. Senior goalkeeper Dennis Kramer was an honorable-mention selection.
“He wasn’t an in-your-face type guy,” Momeni said of Maduka, “but he was demanding on his teammates and made sure they were on task and accomplish what they needed to.”
Momeni said Maduka didn’t have one particular skill he stood out in — he was good at everything. He was a solid poacher, especially fast and could read the field well, and his numbers prove it.
Maduka led Southern Poly with 18 goals and 40 points. He also led with 93 shots and 47 shots on goal, and he was responsible for seven game-winning goals this season — good for second overall in the NAIA.
Maduka accounted for the Hornets’ final goal of the season, in a 3-1 loss to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the national quarterfinal.
Another highlight for Maduka was a two-goal game in his final appearance at home, a 3-1 win over Spring Arbor (Mich.).
“His strength is his lower body,” Momeni said. “He had an accurate shot when he had a chance to shoot it.”
The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Kramer was a solid find as goalkeeper.
The native of Berlin, started all 22 games and allowed just 18 goals. He posted five shutouts by himself, combined on four others and his 0.84 goals-against average was the best in the Southern States Athletic Conference and tied for 10th in the NAIA.
Kramer was honored as both the SSAC and NAIA national defensive player of the week at times this season, and he posted a season-high 12 saves in his final game against Lindsey Wilson.
Before the Lindsey Wilson game, Kramer had never yielded more than two goals in a single game. He had back-to-back shutouts late in the year in wins over William Carey (Miss.) and Mobile (Ala.).
“He saved us over and over again,” Momeni said. “He’s a big reason why we made the elite eight.”