Oct. 30, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior defender Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) has been selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V men’s soccer team. His name will now appear on the national ballot for a chance to be voted as Academic All-American. Voting is done by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Besler, a central defender, carries a 3.462 cumulative grade-point average in the College of Arts and Letters as a pre-professional studies and psychology major. This season, he has played every possible minute on the field. Besler has notched three points on one goal and one assist, while anchoring a Fighting Irish defense that has posted five shutouts on the season.
Accolades have been abundant for the team tri-captain this season. Along with being named a preseason All-American by Soccer America and College Soccer News, he was selected to the all-BIG EAST preseason team. Besler has been named to both the College Soccer News (Sept. 8) and Soccer America (Oct. 14) national teams of the week this year. He was tabbed as the BIG EAST defensive player of the week on Oct. 13. The Kansas product was named as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Joining Besler on the Academic All-District V squad were goalkeeper Chay Cain (Indiana); defenders Drew Ratner (Northwestern), Kyle Knotek (Northern Illinois), Adam Gartner (Eastern Illinois); midfielders Eric Weigman (IUPUI), Carl Pett (Northwestern), Mike Lewis (Eastern Illinois); forwards IIya Ksenidi (Wisconsin-Green Bay), Mike Luttrull (Evansville) and Chris Johnson (Northern Illinois).
Last season, Besler was tabbed as a second-team NSCAA Scholar All-American. He also was named to the all-BIG EAST second team for the second year in a row in addition to copping All-Great Lakes Region second-team honors. For his career, he has played in 86 of a possible 87 games, including 69 starts. He has registered 17 points on five goals and seven assists.
Besler and the 19th-ranked Fighting Irish will conclude the regular season at West Virginia on Saturday, Nov. 1. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET). Notre Dame already has locked up a share of the BIG EAST Blue Division title.