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Unscientific Predictions: 2015 Big East Men's Soccer Preseason Awards

Gotta keep moving to stay ahead of the Big East...

Senior forward C. Nortey is one of two Golden Eagles on my preseason all-Big East team.
Senior forward C. Nortey is one of two Golden Eagles on my preseason all-Big East team.
MarquetteImages.com

We already took a crack at guessing how the Big East women's soccer coaches will vote for their preseason awards, so today we turn our attention to the men's side of the pitch.

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

Herbers was the 2014 postseason Offensive Player of the Year after finishing with the second most goals in the Big East and the second most assists.  This was easy.

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

Yaro was the 2014 postseason Defensive Player of the Year.  I'm not going to overthink this.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Connor Sparrow, GK, Sr., Creighton

Sparrow was insanely robbed of the postseason award a year ago.  He gave up one goal every 185 minutes or so, the best mark in the league, and stopped 84% of shots on frame, also the best in the Big East.  And yet, somehow, Xavier's Eric Osswald (4th in GAA, 5th in SV%) wandered off with the trophy.  Luckily, he was a senior, so we're going to have to get a new name in this slot.  The obvious choice is Sparrow.

All Big East Team

Brandon Allen, F, Sr., Georgetown
Louis Bennett II, M, Jr, Marquette
Cory Brown, D, So., Xavier
Fabian Herbers, F, Jr., Creighton
Dominik Machado, M, Jr., Providence
C. Nortey, F, Sr., Marquette
Timo Pitter, M, Sr., Creighton
Keegan Rosenberry, D, Sr., Georgetown
Connor Sparrow, GK, Sr., Creighton
Mac Steeves, F, Jr., Providence
Joshua Yaro, D, Jr., Georgetown

Putting this list of eleven players together was fairly simple.  The midfielders and defenders are the returning guys from last year's First and Second teams.  Sparrow was the obvious pick for the goalkeeper award, so that explains his spot.  Hard choices needed to be made when it came to forwards, though.  Allen, Herbers, and Nortey were all First Teamers a year ago, so they were obvious inclusions here.  That left me with just one spot left on the team, and with three forwards on last year's postseason Second Team, it seemed that the spot needed to be filled by one of them.  Luckily, there was an easy tiebreaker: Mac Steeves finished the season tied for the lead in the Big East in goals with Brandon Allen, so the final spot went to him.

Top 5 Teams

1. Creighton
2. Georgetown
3. Xavier
4. Providence
5. Marquette

If you're *not* picking the Bluejays to win the Big East this year, then I hope you have a job where you don't get randomly drug tested.  They're the defending regular season champions and return last year's Offensive Player of the Year (Fabian Herbers) and Midfielder of the Year (Timo Pitter), as well as Connor Sparrow, who finds himself as the best keeper in the league after last year's graduations.

The Hoyas are always a great team, and they're loaded with talent all over the pitch, including the league's best defender (Joshua Yaro) and Brandon Allen, who continues to get better every year.  Xavier keeps chugging along at the top of the Big East in their first two years, so there's no reason to think they'll dip down.  Providence has some nice parts, but they will have to find a way to replace goalkeeper Keasel Broome.  Marquette's offense will probably be just fine with Nortey and Bennett up top, but they're going to have to replace their defensive spine after losing center back Axel Sjoberg and keeper Charlie Lyon to the MLS Draft as well as standout defensive mid Brady Wahl.