Dec. 9, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A pair of University of Notre Dame men’s soccer standouts have been recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for stellar accomplishments during the 2016 season. Brandon Aubrey (Sr./D) claimed his first career All-America scroll by being named to the NSCAA All-America third team, while Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year Jon Gallagher (Jr./F) earned NSCAA all-South Region second team accolades for the second straight season.
Aubrey, who also was named to the NSCAA all-South Region first team, became the 32nd All-American in Notre Dame history, and the first since Patrick Hodan was tabbed to the NSCAA first team and Nick Besler the NSCAA second team in 2014. Aubrey is just the fourth true Irish defender to claim All-America honors, joining Ryan Miller (2007 NSCAA second team), Matt Besler (2008 NSCAA first team) and Grant Van De Casteele (2013 NSCAA third team). Greg Dalby (2005-06 NSCAA first team) began his career as a central defender before moving into the Notre Dame midfield in 2003.
The two all-region honorees moved the total number of all-region scrolls claimed by Notre Dame players to 73 in program history, with 49 all-region performers accounted for since the 2000 season alone. The Irish have had at least two players garner all-region classification in each season since that campaign.
Aubrey (Plano, Texas) enjoyed a breakout season as a central defender for Notre Dame in 2016, finishing second on the Irish roster with a career-high nine goals and 19 points in 21 starts. Aubrey’s goal and point totals were both the highest recorded by a defender since head coach Bobby Clark arrived at Notre Dame in 2001, and ranked among the top five players overall in the ACC entering the NCAA Men’s College Cup. Aubrey delivered three game-winning goals for Notre Dame, and added the program’s first hat trick since 2012 after scoring three of the four Irish goals in a 4-1 win over then No. 15 Virginia Tech on Sept. 9.
Rated the top ranked upperclassman in NCAA Division I soccer in TopDrawerSoccer’s Midseason Men’s National Top 100 in October, Aubrey concluded his Notre Dame career with 15 goals and four assists (34 points) in 76 match appearances (63 starts) split between central midfield and center back. Since moving full-time to the Irish back line in 2014, Aubrey connected on 14 of his 15 career goals, added all four assists, accounted for five game-winning goals, was a perfect 5-for-5 converting penalty kicks, and helped preside over 24 team clean sheets.
Gallagher (Dundalk, Ireland) returned to the NSCAA all-South Region second team after leading the ACC in scoring for most of his junior campaign. Gallagher notched a career-high 14 goals, seven assists and 35 points in 21 starts, with his goal and point totals pacing the ACC and his assists tally ranked in a tie for third place in the conference. He also led all ACC players with 0.67 goals per match and 1.67 points per match, and placed second in the league with five game-winning goals entering the NCAA Men’s College Cup.
A veteran of 64 matches (43 starts) for the Irish since 2014, Gallagher has scored 26 goals and added 13 assists (65 points) during his first three collegiate seasons. He became the 10th player in Notre Dame history to lead the Irish in scoring during consecutive seasons after previously totaling nine goals, three assists and 21 points as the Monogram Club co-Most Valuable Player as a sophomore in 2015.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.