Aug. 10, 2006
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been selected to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division for the upcoming 2006 season. The Irish placed in a tie for third in the division last season and they return nine starters from that squad, which advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Earning all-conference preseason accolades for Notre Dame were senior midfielders Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway) and Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral). They were both named to the all-BIG EAST preseason team.
The University of Connecticut and the University of South Florida have been selected to capture the 2006 BIG EAST men’s soccer regular season divisional titles. For the second straight year, the Huskies were picked to finish the regular season atop the Blue Division, while USF, the 2005 Red Division regular season champions, was selected to claim its division title. The votes were cast by the league’s head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own teams. Notre Dame, who is ranked 16th in the College Soccer News preseason rankings, received five first-place votes for their division, while Connecticut garnered 11.
Dalby is coming off a stellar campaign as he earned first-team All-America honors from NSCAA, SoccerTimes.com and College Soccer News. He was also a unanimous all-BIG EAST first-team selection. The team co-captain started all 23 games in 2005 and notched two goals and one assist. Dalby was also a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
Etherington joined his classmate Dalby as a first-team all-BIG EAST performer last season as he totaled seven points on two goals and three assists. He started 21 games in the Irish midfield. Etherington enters the 2006 season having played in 63 career games, which is the second-most on the squad to Dalby’s 65.
Notre Dame opens the 2006 slate with the fifth-annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Field. The Irish take on UAB on Friday, Aug. 25 and then face No. 10 Creighton on Sunday, Aug. 27. Notre Dame’s BIG EAST opener is a home tilt versus South Florida on Friday, Sept. 8. The Fighting Irish will face Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Storrs, Conn.
***** FULL PRESEASON RANKINGS AND HONORS BELOW *****
2006 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Preseason Poll BIG 2005Blue Division Points EAST Overall FinishConnecticut (11) 109 7-3-1 16-3-2 1stNotre Dame (5) 103 6-4-1 12-8-3 T-3rdSeton Hall 79 6-3-2 13-4-3 2ndProvidence 58 3-3-4 7-4-9 6thWest Virginia 54 6-4-1 4-7-2 T-3rdGeorgetown 49 6-5-0 10-9-1 5thMarquette 37 1-8-1 5-11-1 8thPittsburgh 23 2-9-0 3-12-1 7th
BIG 2005Red Division Points EAST Overall FinishUSF (9) 106 9-2-0 13-6-2 1stSt. John's (7) 104 6-2-3 11-6-5 2ndCincinnati 77 6-3-2 10-7-2 3rdRutgers 76 5-4-2 8-8-3 5thLouisville 56 2-7-2 5-11-2 7thVillanova 39 6-4-1 7-7-4 4thSyracuse 36 3-7-1 7-8-4 6thDePaul 16 2-8-1 4-11-2 8th(-) - Indicates first place votes
2006 Preseason All-BIG EAST TeamBIG EAST Offensive Player of the YearOmar Cummings, Sr., F, Cincinnati
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the YearJulius James, Jr., D, Connecticut
BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the YearJason Landers, Jr., GK, St. John's
All-BIG EAST Preseason TeamOmar Cummings, Sr., F, CincinnatiGreg Dalby, Sr., M, Notre DameIan Etherington, Sr., M, Notre DameEliseo Giusfredi, So., F, Seton HallDavid Guzman, Jr., M, LouisvilleRodrigo Hidalgo, Jr., F/M, USFJulius James*, Jr., D, ConnecticutGordon Kljestan, Sr., D/M, Seton HallJason Landers, Jr., GK, St. John'sYohance Marshall, So., D, USFJordan Seabrook, So., F, USFO'Brian White, So., F, ConnecticutAndrew Wright, Jr., M, West Virginia
* - unanimous selection; ^ - Due to a tie in voting, two extra members have been added to the team