If you didn’t notice, Big East men’s soccer is down to just one matchday left on the calendar. That’s coming up on Wednesday, and because we have learned the hard way over the years, we can’t trust the league office to hold off the awards to a reasonable amount of time after the final day of the regular season.
As such, it’s time to pick some end of the year awards!
One caveat for this: I’m making these calls on Sunday, November 3rd. The league will put out another set of weekly awards between now and Wednesday, and sure, maybe a last Honor Roll could have tipped something one way or another here. I’m willing to believe that I’ll end up missing on something that could have used one more data point to decipher. However, I don’t know if you noticed or not, but college basketball starts for men and women on Tuesday, and uh, I’ve got other things to do between now and Wednesday as a result.
Thus, you get these picks now.
Offensive Player of the Year: Tani Oluwaseyi, Forward/Midfielder, St. John’s
He’s leading the league in points with 24 and goals with 10. This doesn’t have to be complicated.
Defensive Player of the Year: Dylan Nealis, Defender, Georgetown
He’s picked up two Defensive Player of the Week awards and was the preseason DPOY, too. We have to recognize Georgetown’s defense in these awards one way or another (more on this in a moment) and Nealis anchoring things in front of GU’s keeper rotation has been a steadying influence.
Midfielder of the Year: Jacob Montes, Georgetown
He’s tops amongst middies in points this year, ranking fourth in the league with 17. He’s third in goals with eight as well, and has generally been ignored in terms of league awards this season. Kind of weird, but that’s also how stacked up with talent this GU roster is this year.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Jan Hoffelner, St. John’s
Sadly, in a year where Georgetown is aiming themselves at national championship contention, they have no chance of winning this award. This is because Tomas Romero and Giannis Nikopolidis have been switching off every match in net. Thus, while GU has the best goals-against average as a team at 0.30 this season (St. John’s is second at 0.66), a Hoya can’t win here. Thus, with the best full-time netminder GAA, Hoffelner gets the trophy here.
Freshman of the Year: Wilmer Cabrera, Jr., Forward, Butler
He’s tied for sixth in the league in points and goals this year, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Xavier’s Karsen Henderlong is tied with Cabrera in points, and actually has a step up on him in goals, 7-6. However, Cabrera has been Freshman of the Week twice and Offensive Player of the Week once, while Henderlong has nary a weekly award to his credit this season. Not even an Honor Roll appearance.
Coach of the Year: Kevin Wiese, Georgetown
Yeah, they’re really great, maybe even better than expected. Tip of the cap to the coach running the show for the best team in the league.
All-Big East Team
Rafael Bustamante, D, St. John’s
Wilmer Cabrera, Jr., F, Butler
Derek Dodson, F, Georgetown
Jack Haywood, M, Butler
Jan Hoffelner, GK, St. John’s
Jacob Montes, M, Georgetown
Dylan Nealis, D, Georgetown
Tani Oluwaseyi, F/M, St. John’s
Paul Rothrock, M, Georgetown
Patrick Seagrist, D, Marquette
Samson Sergi, F, Xavier
As always, Oluwaseyi, Nealis, Montes, and Hoffelner are all automatically in based on their individual awards. Cabrera’s inclusion wasn’t automatic, but based on the context of why he has the individual trophy, he’s locked in, too. Dodson and Sergi are the next guys up in the points total list this season, so that made them easy picks. Haywood, Seagrist, and Rothrock are tied for the league lead in assists at the moment with seven each this season. I feel like assists are undervalued when the coaches vote for things, so I’m recognizing their achievements here. That left me with one defender spot to fill, and Bustamante was the easy choice. The Johnnies are honestly underrepresented on this team, given their overall accomplishments as a team in 2019. On top of that, Bustamante had a Defensive Player of the Week award this season and a weekly Honor Roll nod late in the year, too. Is it a perfect choice? Maybe not, but it makes sense as a snapshot of what the league has been this season.