If it’s the last day of the men’s soccer regular season for the Big East, then we’d better make some postseason award picks. The league office is notoriously sneaky for popping out the awards prettttttty quickly after the season ends, thus we make picks before the season ends.
A heads up for you: Expect a lot of these to either be wrong or horribly altered by the final match day of the season.
Offensive Player of the Year: Brandon Guhl, Butler
Well, we have a problem here. Generally speaking, you don’t want to overthink these things, but sometimes you’re left with no choice. Heading into the final match of the season, Creighton’s Ricky Lopez-Espin and Butler’s Brandon Guhl are tied for the most points in the league with 23 and the most goals in the league with 10. Both have three assists, so we can’t use that as a tiebreak, and both men were named Offensive Player of the Week once each as well.
Sometimes you’ve gotta go with what the standings tell you, and with Butler having wrapped up the regular season title before the final day of the season, I’m giving this one to Guhl.
Seton Hall’s Andres Arcila and Providence’s Mac Steeves both have 19 points, so if they were to explode in the final match, I still don’t think that would be enough for them to pass Guhl. Sometimes the standings matter, and Arcila’s team is already eliminated from the tournament, and Steeves, the preseason OPOY, plays for a team that may be eliminated by midnight.
Defensive Player of the Year: Cameron Taylor, Xavier
Well, if the OPOY was no fun, this is less fun. It’s hard enough to make picks for defensive awards because they don’t really rack up stats on their own. It gets even harder when three different players (Xavier’s Cameron Taylor, St. John’s David Enstrom, & Seton Hall’s Lukas Pangonis) win Defensive Player of the Week twice, and when none of them were the Preseason DPOY (Xavier’s Cory Brown), that’s just another level of difficulty.
Ah, the hell with it. I’m going with Taylor because as it turns out, he’s tied for eighth in the league in points. Is that a weird way to pick best defender? SURE IS! I am probably going to be horrifyingly wrong here. Oh well.
Midfielder of the Year: Lewis Suddick, Butler
FINALLY, an easy one. Suddick is tied for fifth in points and he’s done it by tying for the most assists in the league with seven. He’s the only guy in the league to be named Offensive Player of the Week more than once. BOOM, nailed it, moving on.
Goalkeeper of the Year: J.T. Marcinkowski, Georgetown
Best goals-against average in the league, second best save percentage in the league. At .833, Marcinkowski is just barely trailing Andrew Withers from St. John’s at .843, so he could easily end up with that one by the time Wednesday is over.
Now, there is the fact that Butler won the league and Eric Dick won four GK of the Week awards against just three for Marcinkowski. Dick is third in both GAA and SV%, and he’s under a goal allowed per 90 minutes and absolutely could boost his .831 SV% past both Marcinkowski and Withers on the final day of the season. Still, though, sometimes the best answer is the guy with the fewest goals allowed.
Freshman of the Year: Derek Dodson, F, Georgetown
He’s tied for 10th in the league in points, and tied for seventh in goals. He got to take advantage of Achara missing a large chunk of the season and turned into a bit of a dynamo for the Hoyas. He’s also the only rookie to pick up more than one Freshman of the Week award, and one of just three freshmen to be named to the Weekly Honor Roll at all.
Coach of the Year: Paul Snape, Butler
Picked to finish third, won the league with a match left to play. Bada bing, bada boom.
All-Big East Team
Andres Arcila, M, Seton Hall
Kieran Geldenhuys, D, Butler
Brandon Guhl, F, Butler
Ricky Lopez-Espin, F, Creighton
J.T. Marcinkowski, GK, Georgetown
Joel Rystrand, M, Creighton
Peter Schropp, D, Georgetown
Mac Steeves, F, Providence
Lewis Suddick, M, Butler
Cameron Taylor, D, Xavier
Matt Vasquenza, F, Xavier
Guhl, Suddick, Taylor, and Marcinkowski get free passes based on their individual awards. I mentioned Arcila, Lopez-Espin, and Steeves in the OPOY discussion, so they should be safe bets.
From there.... hoooo boy, I dunno. It’s a bunch of guessing. Geldenhuys and Schropp are in there because I felt that the defenses of Butler and Georgetown needed representation given that I didn’t really have any solid candidates otherwise. Rydstrand is tied for the most assists in the league, and I feel that kind of contribution gets overlooked too often. Vasquenza wins the “well, I need one more guy to get to 11” award, but he is tied for the fifth most points and the fifth most goals in the league, so it’s not like he’s out of left field or something.