Nov. 11, 1999
Notre Dame, Ind.– Notre Dame freshman forward Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany), who led the Irish in scoring this season with nine goals and six assists, has been named the 1999 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Year. Braun is the first Notre Dame player to earn one of the league’s four major player-of-the-year awards, which are voted on by the 12 head coaches. The announcement came at the Thursday night awards banquet held annually on the ever of the two semifinal games. This year’s semifinals and championship games are being played at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.
In addition to being selected the rookie of the year, Braun also was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team, which marked the second straight year an Irish player was selected to that squad.
Braun, one of six Irish players to start all 20 games, was third in scoring in BIG EAST games and ranked seventh in that category in overall contests. In 11 league matches, he tallied seven goals and dished off three assists for 17 points. His 17 points were the most by a BIG EAST rookie since the inception of round robin play in 1990.
Braun, who garnered rookie-of-the-week honors once in ’99, had seven goals and dished off six assists in the final 12 games of the season. He had two-game winning goals and three multiple-point games. Twice in BIG EAST games – versus Syracuse and Providence – he tallied two goals.
This season marked the second consecutive year that the Irish were led in scoring by a freshman. In 1998, Shane Walton, now a member of the Notre Dame football team, topped the Irish scoring charts with 10 goals and seven assists.
Notre Dame finished the ’99 campaign with an 8-9-3 record and made their fourth straight BIG EAST tournament appearance after finishing eighth in the final standings with a 4-5-2 conference record. The Irish were eliminated in the quarterfinals on November 6 by top-seeded Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.