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Men's Soccer: Louis Bennett II, C. Nortey, & Axel Sjoberg Named To All-Big East First Team

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Plus, Alex McBride was named to the All-Rookie Team! We'll also check in on the individual awards and see how yesterday's predictions turned out.

Midfielder Alex McBride carries on the family tradition of being really good at soccer while playing for Marquette.
Midfielder Alex McBride carries on the family tradition of being really good at soccer while playing for Marquette.
MarquetteImages.com

For the second straight year, redshirt juniors C. Nortey and Axel Sjoberg were named to the All-Big East First Team on Tuesday morning.  Joining them on the 11 man squad comprised of the best players in the Big East was sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II.  In addition to those three Golden Eagles, freshman midfielder Alex McBride was named to the All-Rookie team.

Sjoberg and Bennett aren't surprising, as I had both of them on my all-Big East team in yesterday's predictions.  Nortey is a surprise, as I ended up not including him on an 11 man team while dividing the team evenly amongst forwards, midfielders, and defenders, while also paying attention to the Big East standings.  I gave credit to Providence and Xavier for putting their teams towards the top of the standings, and included Fabio Machado and Matt Vazquenza.  Nortey is more than deserving after finishing the year tied for fourth in goals and sixth in points, but I knew I was including Sjoberg and Bennett, and couldn't justify a third player from the sixth place team.

Moving on to the individual awards....

Offensive Player of the Year: Fabian Herbers, F, Creighton

For all the reasons I covered in my predictions.  Next...

Defensive Player of the Year: Joshua Yaro, D, Georgetown

My pick was Sjoberg, which was colored by watching the Marquette-Georgetown match earlier this season.  I witnessed Yaro make multiple runs up the field with the ball which ultimately didn't lead to a real attack for the Hoyas, or, since the final score was 0-0, lead to any goals.  While Yaro getting out of position didn't cause GU to let in any goals either, in my mind, I couldn't justify the award for best defense to a player looking to attack constantly.  The 6'7" Sjoberg plays a key factor for Marquette on set pieces, but he's a stay at home defender that was named Defensive Player of the Week three times this season.

Midfielder of the Year: Timo Pitter, Creighton

Completely justified, but since the Big East kept listing Pitter as a combination midfielder/forward when handing out weekly awards, I couldn't be sure if he was going to be eligible for this award.  Pitter averaged a point a game in Creighton's nine league matches and finished the regular season tied for the third most points in the Big East.

Coach of the Year: Elmar Bolowich, Creighton & Andy Fleming, Xavier (tie)

I'm a big fan of "that team won, that's the best coaching job," but I gave my prediction to Fleming for boosting the Musketeers up from a seventh place prediction to having a chance to win the league on the final match day.  I'm fine with a tie between Fleming and Bolowich, who won the Big East regular season title.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Eric Osswald, Xavier

I'm *NOT* okay with this.  Osswald allowed three goals in nine Big East matches this season for a goals-against average of 0.32.  Creighton's Connor Sparrow had the best goals-against average for the whole season at 0.39.  Sparrow was named the Goalkeeper of the Week three times, no one else won it more than once.  Osswald had a save percentage below .800, Sparrow stopped 83.9% of the shots on frame this season.  I don't get people sometimes, man.

Rookie of the Year: Arun Basuljevic, F, Georgetown

I don't know if the coaches are told to focus on stats in league play when they vote on awards, because that's how the conference explains Basuljevic's award here:

Basuljevic scored twice in conference play, both game-winners, and was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week once this season. In all games he’s Georgetown’s second-leading goal scorer with four and third in points with eight.

Xavier's Matt Vazquenza was my pick.  He was named Big East Rookie of the Week twice, the only player to pull off that feat.  Vazquenza had four goals in league play, tied for the most in the conference, and that includes two game winners.  He led the second place Musketeers in goals with six and finished second in points with 16.  It seems to me that's better than Basuljevic, as is Xavier's spot in the standings compared to Georgetown's.  As I said, sometimes I don't get people.

Onwards to the All-Big East squads...

All-BIG EAST First Team
Brandon Allen, Georgetown, Jr., F*
Louis Bennett II, Marquette, So., M
Fabian Herbers, Creighton, So., F*
C. Nortey, Marquette, R-Jr., F
Eric Osswald, Xavier, R-Sr., GK
Tim Parker, St. John’s, Sr., D*
Timo Pitter, Creighton, Jr., M*
Jose Ribas, Creighton, Sr., D*
Axel Sjoberg, Marquette, R-Jr., D
Will Walker, Xavier, R-Sr., M*
Joshua Yaro, Georgetown, So., D*

All-BIG EAST Second Team
Brandon Adler, Providence, Sr., D
Cory Brown, Xavier, Fr., D
Aaron Dennis, Villanova, Sr., M
David Goldsmith, Butler, So., F
Tomas Gomez, Georgetown, Sr., GK
Dominik Machado, Providence, So., M
Fabio Machado, Providence, Sr., F
Alex Muyl, Georgetown, So., F
Keegan Rosenberry, Georgetown, Jr., D
Tyler Rudy, Georgetown, Sr., M
Mac Steeves, Providence, So., F
Phil Towler, Providence, Sr., M

BIG EAST All-Rookie Team
Walker Andriot, Xavier, R-Fr., D
Arun Basuljevic, Georgetown, Fr., F*
Cory Brown, Xavier, Fr., D*
Christopher Lema, Georgetown, Fr., M
Erick Leonard, Butler, Fr., M
Alex McBride, Marquette, R-Fr., M
Daniel Neustadter, Providence, Fr., M
John Philbin, Seton Hall, Fr., D
Lucas Stauffer, Creighton, Fr., M*
Will Steiner, Villanova, R-Fr., GK*
Matt Vasquenza, Xavier, Fr., F
Anthony Viteri, St. John’s, Fr., M
Hans Wustling, DePaul, Fr., D

* - Unanimous Selections

The Big East coaches went with a 3-3-4 formation for the First Team, which means I'm left wondering how Tim Parker, while pretty great, makes the team while playing for last place St. John's.  I had Providence's Jeff Kilday on my all-conference team instead of Ribas, but that's what happens when you have to rely on weekly awards to figure these things out because not every game is available for video streaming.