The Big East has announced the 2013 postseason men's soccer awards, and two Golden Eagles have earned individual honors. Senior midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka was named Co-Midfielder of the Year along with Georgetown's Joey Dillon, and junior keeper Charlie Lyon was named Co-Goalkeeper of the Year along with Georgetown's Tomas Gomez. Lyon and Ciesiulka are the second and third individual Big East award winners in Marquette history, as they follow in the footsteps of Calum Mallace, who was named 2011 Midfielder of the Year.
In addition, seven Marquette players received all-conference honors. Ciesiulka and Lyon were joined on the All-Big East first team by sophomore striker C. Nortey and sophomore center back Axel Sjoberg. Freshman midfielder Louis Bennett II and senior defender Eric Pothast earned All-Big East Honorable Mention honors, while LB2 and fellow freshman Coco Navarro were named to the All-Rookie Team.
Let's get to the rest of the individual honors and compare them to the predictions that I made.
Offensive Player of the Year: Steve Neumann, F, Georgetown
He was the season long points leader with 26, and Neumann won the preseason version of this award, so that was a pretty easy choice.
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Hagglund, D, Xavier
Hagglund was my pick for the preseason award, so I'm not surprised that he won this by guiding Xavier's defense to a third place finish in the Big East. I had picked Anthony Baumann from Providence, but I had to dig around a bit to make a pick, so I'm fine with Hagglund winning.
Midfielder of the Year: Bryan Ciesiulka, Marquette, and Joey Dillon, Georgetown
I'm going to guess that the coaches in the league cared more about league play for this award, as Ciesiulka missed six matches in non-conference play with a concussion. I'm also going to guess that these two men won on the balance of their defensive play, as Ciesiulka recorded the only points between the two of them on one assist. My pick here was Xavier's Matt Walker, who had 25 points on the season, one fewer than points leader Steve Neumann.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Tomas Gomez, Georgetown, and Charlie Lyon, Marquette
I had Gomez as the clear cut favorite for this award, because he's leading the conference in goals-against average and save percentage. But both men had five shutouts in league play, and they are the keepers for the league's regular season co-champions.
Rookie of the Year: David Goldsmith, F, Butler
Goldsmith led the league in goals this season, so that was an easy choice for everyone involved.
Coaching Staff of the Year: Georgetown
Or to put it another way, "Congratulations on ending up in a tie for the position that we picked you to finish in before the season started." Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? I had Xavier's staff winning this one, as they finished higher than predicted and just barely missed out on winning the league title.
Moving on, let's check out the All-Big East First Team selections, with an asterisk noting a unanimous selection.
All-BIG EAST First Team^
Joey Dillon, Georgetown, M
Tomas Gomez, Georgetown, GK
Charlie Lyon, Marquette, GK
Axel Sjoberg, Marquette, B
Nick Hagglund, Xavier, B
Tim Parker, St. John's, B
Brandon Allen, Georgetown, F
*Steve Neumann, Georgetown, F
C. Nortey, Marquette, F
Zach Steinberger, Butler, M
Bryan Ciesiulka, Marquette, M
Zach Barnes, Creighton, M
Even with a tie creating an extra person on the team, which I presume is Gomez & Lyon, I only got five of the 12 players correct. Ciesiulka, Dillon, Hagglund, and Lyon all make it on by way of their individual honors, so I can't really be blamed there. I also missed on Barnes, Sjoberg, and Steinberger, instead adding Marquette's Paul Dillon, Seton Hall's Samuel Geiler, Butler's David Goldsmith, and Creighton's Timo Pitter. In my defense, I merely had the wrong Marquette defender and wrong Creighton midfielder in two of those cases. I don't really understand how the guy with the most goals in the conference doesn't make the First Team, but there you go.
Here's the rest of the all-conference teams, again with asterisks noting unanimous selections when we get down to the All-Rookie Team:
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Rafael Diaz, St. John's, GK
Jose Ribas, Creighton, B
Keegan Rosenberry, Georgetown, B
Brendan Hines-Ike, Creighton, B
David Goldsmith, Butler, F
Timo Pitter, Creighton, F
Julian Gressel, Providence, F
Sean Sepe, St. John's, F
Matt Walker, Xavier, F
James Mulligan, St. John's, M
Max Garcia, Seton Hall, M
All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
Bruno Castro, Creighton, MF
Louis Bennett II, Marquette, MF
Eric Pothast, Marquette, B
Brandon Adler, Providence, B
Phil Towler, Providence, MF
BIG EAST All-Rookie Team
David Goldsmith, Butler, F
Fabian Herbers, Creighton, M/F
Ricardo Perez, Creighton, M
Bakie Goodman, Georgetown, M
*Alex Muyl, Georgetown, F/M
Joshua Yaro, Georgetown, B
*Louis Bennett II, Marquette, M
Coco Navarro, Marquette, F
Julian Gressel, Providence, F
Samuel Geiler, Seton Hall, M
Jalen Brown, Xavier, M
I'm not entirely sure how the guy who finished second in the league in assists, Georgetown's Alex Muyl, didn't even get honorable mention honors. In any case, that All-Rookie team is full of guys who played key roles on their teams this season, so the future of the league as one of the best in the country looks very bright.
The Big East men's soccer tournament continues tonight with the two semifinal matches. #1 seed Georgetown plays #4 Providence at 5pm Central, with #2 Marquette taking on #6 Butler at approximately 7:30pm Central. Both matches will be have free video streaming through BigEast.com/allaccess.