Aug. 5, 2005
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior midfielder Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway) was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Team as voted on by the league’s 16 head coaches. Dalby’s classmate and fellow midfielder Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) joined him on the 13-man squad. Notre Dame was selected to finish second in the conference’s Blue Division behind Connecticut, while St. John’s was tabbed to be the league’s Red Division champion.
Dalby was a second-team all-BIG EAST selection last season as he helped anchor the Irish midfield en route to the program’s first-ever BIG EAST regular-season title. The junior will serve as a tri-captain for this year’s team after captaining the U.S. Under-20 Team this summer during a solid showing at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. The other unanimous choices for the preseason squad were St. John’s midfielder Matt Groenwald and Seton Hall forward Sacha Kljestan.
Etherington garnered third-team all-BIG EAST honors in 2004 as he tied for team-high honors in points with seven on two goals and three assists during conference play. The junior midfielder, who can also shift to the forward position, was second overall on the Irish with 11 points by tallying three goals and a team-high five assists last season.
Seton Hall and Georgetown dominated the preseason honors list. Georgetown’s Ricky Schramm and Kljestan from Seton Hall were each named the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. The Hoyas’ Jeff Curtain was tabbed the conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while the Pirates’ Boris Pardo copped the league’s Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year honor.
The Fighting Irish posted a 13-3-3 mark in 2004 and added a regular-season conference crown to the tournament title they captured in 2003. Notre Dame collected seven first-place votes on the BIG EAST preseason Blue Division ballot, which were two behind Connecticut’s nine. Despite being chosen to finish third in the conference one season ago, Notre Dame would go on to post the program’s first eight-win BIG EAST campaign and collect the title.
Notre Dame is ranked No. 19 in the College Soccer News preseason poll. The Irish will face seven teams ranked in the top-30 of the poll during the regular-season (Indiana #1, St. John’s #5, Connecticut #9, SMU #10, Wake Forest #14, Saint Louis #20, Seton Hall #23).
An exhibition match against New Mexico, who is ranked sixth in the College Soccer News poll, on Monday, Aug. 22 will be the team’s first competition on the pitch during the 2005 campaign. Notre Dame opens the regular-season on Friday, Sept. 2 versus SMU at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. The Irish will begin their defense of the BIG EAST crown with a trip to St. John’s on Friday, Sept. 16.
2005 BIG EAST MEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON POLL AND HONORS
'04 Record BIG EAST FinishBlue Division Points Overall BIG EAST Regular Season1. Connecticut (9) 113 12-8-3 5-4-1 T5th2. Notre Dame (7) 112 13-3-3 8-1-1 1st3. Seton Hall 91 12-7-3 5-5-0 8th4. Georgetown 73 11-8-2 5-4-1 T5th5. West Virginia 60 12-7-1 5-4-1 T5th6. Marquette 52 6-11-1 -- --7. Pittsburgh 39 6-8-3 3-6-1 9th8. Providence 28 0-16-0 0-10-0 12th
Red Division1. St. John's (15) 120 12-6-4 6-1-3 2nd2. Rutgers 95 6-8-4 2-5-3 11th3. USF (1) 90 10-5-2 -- --4. Villanova 71 7-5-6 5-3-2 4th5. Cincinnati 61 7-10-2 -- --6. Syracuse 59 5-12-0 3-7-0 10th7. Louisville 50 5-10-4 -- --8. DePaul 22 3-14-3 -- --
Preseason Offensive Player of the YearRicky Schramm, Jr., GeorgetownSacha Kljestan, Jr., Seton HallPreseason Defensive Player of the YearJeff Curtain, Sr., GeorgetownPreseason Goalkeeper of the YearBoris Pardo, Sr., Seton Hall
Preseason All-BIG EAST TeamJeff Curtin, Sr., B, GeorgetownGreg Dalby, Jr., B, Notre Dame*Ian Etherington, Jr., MF, Notre DameMatt Groenwald, Grad., MF, St. John's*Rodrigo Hildalgo, So., F, USFJulius James, So., B, ConnecticutSacha Kljestan, Jr., F, Seton Hall*Nick LaBrocca, Jr., MF, RutgersMpho Moloi, Sr., MF, ConnecticutBoris Pardo, Sr., GK, Seton HallAndre Schmid, Sr., F, St. John'sRicky Schramm, Jr., F, GeorgetownKeeyan Young, Sr., F, Pittsburgh
* - unanimous selection