Nov. 10, 2004
Two University of Notre Dame men’s soccer players are among the 15 semifinalists for the 2004 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year award for Division I. Seniors Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.), the backbone of Notre Dame’s outstanding defense, will be in the running for the three finalist positions – which will be announced at the 2004 Men’s College Cup in December.
Stewart was on the original watch list for the award in the preseason, while Goldthwaite appeared as a new addition – remarkable considering that the left back missed the first seven matches of the season due to a knee injury.
Stewart and Goldthwaite have helped the Irish hold their opponents to just seven goals in 18 matches this season. Notre Dame currently leads the nation in goals-against average (0.37) and has shutout 12 opponents this season.
The Irish are currently ranked as high as seventh in the country with a 13-2-3 overall record. The regular season BIG EAST Champions, Notre Dame awaits its position in the NCAA Championship field – which will be announced Monday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNews.
Stewart has been an anchor for the Irish team all season. He carried Notre Dame through the first weekend of the year, scoring two goals (including the game winner against Boston University) and capturing the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week Award. Highly effective in the air, Stewart demands the attention of the entire opposing team when moving forward to attack and spends a great deal of his time limiting the opposing team’s top scoring options. In fact, Stewart has helped hold Notre Dame’s opponents to just 163 shots (only nine per contest).
Goldthwaite had an immediate impact on the Irish team when he returned to the lineup this season. One off the top attacking defenders in the nation, his return to the pitch at #21 Villanova sparked Notre Dame to back-to-back victories over teams above them in the BIG EAST standings (the Irish defeated Villanova 1-0 and #9 Boston College 1-0).
Since Goldthwaite made his comeback, Notre Dame is unbeaten (9-0-2) and the team has surrendered just one goal (at #10 St. John’s) in those 11 games.
Both Stewart and Goldthwaite will be in the running for first team all-BIG EAST honors and various major awards when the conference announces those accolades on Thursday, Nov. 11.