Dec. 13, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) on Friday released its All-America teams and two Notre Dame student-athletes were among those honored. Senior forward Harrison Shipp was named to the first team, while fifth-year senior Grant Van De Casteele, a central defender, appeared on the third team.
Shipp (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) leads the Fighting Irish in goals (12) and assists (8) this season and on Thursday was named a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Last month, Shipp was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and he was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. He also was tapped as the Capital One Academic All-America of the YearÂ® for Division I men’s soccer.
Five of Shipp’s goals this season have been game winners and he has deposited three goals in the NCAA tournament to help the Fighting Irish reach the College Cup for the first time in program history. The team captain has never missed a match during his Notre Dame career and he has totaled 23 goals and 22 assists. This is his first All-America citation. Shipp is the ninth first team All-American in program history.
Van De Casteele (Plano, Texas/Frisco Centennial) is a force in the Fighting Irish backline and he has helped the team post nine shutouts this season. He was a third-team all-ACC pick and this is his first All-America accolade.
Van De Casteele has started every match over the last four seasons and has totaled four goals, including three game winners, and one assist during that time. He assisted on Notre Dame’s goal in this season’s 1-1 draw with Maryland. With Van De Casteele anchoring the defense, Notre Dame has produced 29 shutouts over the last four seasons.
In addition to the All-America honorees, Notre Dame had five players garner NSCAA All-Region accolades. Junior midfielder Nick Besler joined Shipp and Van De Casteele on the All-South Atlantic Region First Team, while senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall and sophomore midfielder Patrick Hodan were named to the third team.
Those players weren’t the only members of the program to claim all-region hardware. Associate head coach BJ Craig was tapped as the South Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Craig has been a valuable member of the Notre Dame coaching staff for the past six seasons.
Notre Dame boasts a 15-1-6 record this season and the Irish captured a share of the ACC regular-season title. The third-ranked Fighting Irish will face No. 7 New Mexico later today in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. The match is slated for 5 p.m. (ET) at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. The game can be seen live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.