American junior Cristobal Soto was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Tuesday.
Nov. 6, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – American, which capped off its first undefeated conference record in program history Saturday, was the big winner when the 2012 All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards were announced in men’s soccer Tuesday.
The Eagles claimed three of the five major awards, and placed a conference-best six on the All-League squad, with four on the first team.
A pair of junior student-athletes garnered major awards for American, with Cristobal Soto being named Defensive Player of the Year and Billy Knutsen honored as the Goalkeeper of the Year. Todd West, in his 13th season on the sidelines in Washington, D.C., was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and fourth time overall.
Rounding out the major awards were Colgate senior midfielder Mike Reidy as the Offensive Player of the Year, and Navy freshman defender Derek Vogel as Rookie of the Year.
Ballots were cast by the League’s eight head coaches who could not vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
Defending champion Colgate was second with five All-League honorees, followed by Bucknell and Lafayette with three apiece. Holy Cross and Navy each had two named to the squad, while Lehigh had one.
Reidy is the second straight Raider named Offensive Player of the Year, after Steven Miller garnered the award in 2011. The Webster, N.Y., native enters the League tournament with a League-high seven goals, including a League-best three game-winners, while his 16 points are tied for second. His 10 points in seven League contests tied for the League lead, while his four goals were second best. He was named first-team All-League as well at midfield.
Soto’s naming to the Defensive Player of the Year honor comes with very limited surprise. He was named the BRINE Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, including Oct. 8 when he scored the overtime game-winner at Army that helped preserve what would become the Eagles’ unbeaten record in League play. He has led a back line that has surrendered a League-low 16 goals in 17 contests this season, and also garnered first-team All-League placement Tuesday. Soto makes history as the first American player named Defensive Player of the Year.
In the instances when the opposition’s offense has gotten through the defense, American junior keeper Billy Knutsen has been there. He becomes American’s first student-athlete named Goalkeeper of the Year since Thomas Myers in 2004, and just the second overall. Knutsen, who was named to the first team, finished the regular season tied for first in the League in shutouts (six), second in goals-against average (0.92), second in save percentage (.832) and second in saves per game (4.65). During League play, he improved his save percentage to .860, and tied for first with three clean sheets.
Vogel set the League record Monday with his fourth BRINE Rookie of the Week award. The 6-foot-3 defender from Long Beach, Calif., proved to be an offensive force as well, finishing his rookie campaign with four goals and two assists for 10 points, along with a team-high two game-winning markers. He is just the second Mid named Rookie of the Year and first since Michael Paisant in 1997. He also garnered second-team All-League laurels.
West makes history as the first back-to-back Coach of the Year in League annals. He leads the Eagles into the Patriot League Tournament for the ninth time overall and fifth straight season, including two consecutive times as host. American’s 10 wins this season are the most for the program since capturing 15 victories in 2004, and it became the second school in the last three years to go unbeaten in League play (Colgate, 5-0-2 in 2010). West has a 116-107-29 mark all-time at American, and is 5-4-5 in the tournament.
American placed four overall on the All-League first team. Joining Soto and Knutsen in the top 11 were junior forward Dale McDonald (5 goals, 3 assists, 13 points) and junior midfielder Colin Seigfreid, who leads the League entering the tournament with seven assists and 17 points. Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Alassane Kane was named to the second team at forward (6 goals, 13 points), along with senior midfielder Ryan Morales.
Two Colgate student-athletes were named to the All-League first team. Joining Reidy on the top squad was sophomore defender Evan Heroux (2 goals, 4 points). Three Raiders were named to the second team, led by a pair of seniors in midfielder Mike Garzi (3 goals, 8 points) and defender Wade Martin (17 games, 1 assist). Joining them was sophomore goalkeeper Liam Stapleton (4-3-3, 1.21 GAA, .725, 1 SHO).
Bucknell’s three All-League selections were named to the second team. Senior forward Brendan Burgdorf (3 goals, 11 points) led the way, followed by classmate Collin Costello (2 goals, 6 points) on defense and freshman midfielder Chris Thorsheim (19 games, 4 assists).
Lafayette placed a pair on the first team in junior midfielder Alec Golini (6 goals, 13 points) and junior defender Brandon Turner (18 games, 2 goals). Senior midfielder Sean Peckham (2 goals, 8 points) earned a second-team nod.
Both Holy Cross selections were named to the first team in junior forward Josh Cintas (6 goals, 13 points) and junior midfielder Monty Sanders (3 goals, 8 points).
Navy junior defender Nick Dubee (3 goals, 1 assist) joined Vogel on the All-League second team. Lehigh’s sole All-League selection was sophomore defender Ali Famili (16 games, 1 goal) on the first team.
The 2012 Patriot League Men’s Soccer Tournament is set for Friday/Sunday, Nov. 9/11 at Reeves Field on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. The top-seeded Eagles will host No. 4 Bucknell in Friday’s first semifinal at 11 a.m., followed by No. 2 Lafayette battling third-seeded Colgate at 2 p.m. The semifinal winners advance to Sunday’s championship final, scheduled for 1 p.m.
All three matches will be streamed through Patriot League All-Access. To sign up for a subscription, click here. Subscribers who sign up for a one-year plan now would have access to the men’s soccer and volleyball tournaments this month, along with Patriot League men and women’s basketball games this winter and available winter and spring championships through the 2012-13 academic year.
2012 Men’s Soccer All-Patriot League Team
Dale McDonald, American, Jr., F
Josh Cintas, Holy Cross, Jr., F
Colin Seigfreid, American, Jr., M
Mike Reidy, Colgate, Sr., M
Monty Sanders, Holy Cross, Jr., M
Alec Golini, Lafayette, Jr., M
Cristobal Soto, American, Jr., D
Evan Heroux, Colgate, So., D
Brandon Turner, Lafayette, Jr., D
Ali Famili, Lehigh, So., D
Billy Knutsen, American, Jr., GK
Alassane Kane, American, Sr., F
Brendan Burgdorf, Bucknell, Sr., F
Ryan Morales, American, Sr., M
Chris Thorsheim, Bucknell, Fr., M
Mike Garzi, Colgate, Sr., M
Sean Peckham, Lafayette, Sr., M
Collin Costello, Bucknell, Sr., D
Wade Martin, Colgate, Sr., D
Nick Dubee, Navy, Jr., D
Derek Vogel, Navy, Fr., D
Liam Stapleton, Colgate, So., GK
Offensive Player of the Year – Mike Reidy, Colgate, Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year – Cristobal Soto, American, Jr.
Goalkeeper of the Year – Billy Knutsen, American, Jr.
Rookie of the Year – Derek Vogel, Navy, Fr.
Coach of the Year – Todd West, American