Chris Sawyer

Sawyer, Stewart And Coaching Staff Earn BIG EAST Accolades

Nov. 12, 2004

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team earned three major awards at the 2004 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship Awards Banquet on Thursday evening, led by senior goalkeeper Chris Sawyer who earned his second-straight Goalkeeper of the Year award. Classmate Jack Stewart was named the Defensive Player of the Year while the Coaching Staff of the Year Award went to Notre Dame as well. The Irish also landed six players on the three all-BIG EAST teams.

Sawyer, who has been the preseason goalkeeper of the year and eventual end off the season awardwinner the last two years, currently leads the nation with a 0.37 goals-against average. He collected seven shutouts in 10 league games and boasted a 0.29 goals-against average in conference play. Sawyer also earned first-team all-BIG EAST honors – giving him four all-conference honors in his career.

Senior central defender Jack Stewart becomes the first Notre Dame player to earn the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year Award since the Irish joined the league in 1995. Respected as one of the best in the nation at his position, Stewart has helped the Irish to a recent 11 match unbeaten streak which includes 10 shutouts. He and his defensive teammates have preformed brilliantly this season, as the Irish have allowed just seven goals and lead the nation in goals-against average (0.37). Stewart is a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy this season (collegiate soccer’s player of the year award).

Head coach Bobby Clark and his assistants, Mike Avery and Brian Wiese, land the group’s first coaching staff of the year award since 2001 – their first season at Notre Dame. The Irish finished the BIG EAST regular season 8-1-1, recording eight wins in league play for the first time in the program’s history. In addition, the team earned its first-ever regular-season title and has been ranked as high as fourth in the country this season.

Joining Sawyer and Stewart on the all-BIG EAST first team was classmate Kevin Goldthwaite. Notre Dame’s left back has keyed Notre Dame’s defensive surge this season, as his return to the lineup after missing the first seven matches of the year with an injury marked the turning point of the season. Since Goldthwaite has joined the Irish lineup, the team has surrendered just one goal and has an 11-match unbeaten streak. Along with Stewart, Goldthwaite is a semifinalist for the MA Hermann Trophy.

Sophomore Greg Dalby, a central midfielder, earned all-BIG EAST second team honors for his first career all-conference accolade. Sophomore midfielder Ian Etherington, second on the team in scoring with 11 points (three goals, five assists) earned all-BIG EAST third team honors along with classmate forward Justin McGeeney, who leads the team with 12 points (five goals, two assists).

Notre Dame, eliminated from the BIG EAST Championship on a penalty kick tie by Seton Hall last weekend, is resting up for its run in the NCAA Championship. The NCAA field will be announced Monday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNews.

2004 BIG EAST All-Conference Teams/Awards

Offensive Player of the Year: Ricky Schramm, So., Georgetown

Defensive Player of the Year: Jack Stewart, Sr., Notre Dame

Midfielder of the Year: Guy Melamed, Sr., Boston College

Goalkeeper of the Year: Chris Sawyer, Sr., Notre Dame

Rookie of the Year: Charlie Davies, Boston College

Coaching Staff of the Year: Notre Dame

First Team

Chris Sawyer, Notre Dame, Sr., GK

Charlie Davies, Boston College, Fr., F

Kevin Goldthwaite, Notre Dame, Sr., B

Matt Groenwald, St. John’s, Sr., M

Pat Haggerty, Boston College, Sr., B

Sacha Kljestan, Seton Hall, So., M

Jerrod Laventure, Seton Hall, Sr., F

Guy Melamed, Boston College, Sr., M

Simone Salinno, St. John’s, Sr., M

Ricky Schramm, Georgetown, So., F

Jack Stewart, Notre Dame, Sr., B

Second Team

Issey Maholo, Boston College, So., GK

Sam Brill, Boston College, So., B

Jeff Curtin, Georgetown, Jr., B

Greg Dalby, Notre Dame, So., M

Dan Gargan, Georgetown, Sr., M

Jason Hernandez, Seton Hall, Sr., B

Julius James, Connecticut, Fr., B

Nick LaBrocca, Rutgers, So., M

Jon Lopuski, Villanova, Sr., M

Mpho Moloi, Connecticut, Jr., M

Keeyan Young, Pittsburgh, Jr., F

Third Team

Jeff Carroll, St. John’s, Jr., B

Chukwudi Chijindu, Connecticut, Fr., F

Chris Corcoran, St. John’s, Sr., B

Dan DeMasters, Villanova, Fr., F

Ian Etherington, Notre Dame, So., M

Willis Forko, Connecticut, Jr., B

Andrei Gotsmanov, St. John’s, Fr., F

Chris Karcz, Rutgers, Sr., F

Justin McGeeney, Notre Dame, So., F

Steven Old, St. John’s, Fr., B

Aaron Pitchkolan, West Virginia, Sr., B

Andre Schmid, St. John’s, Sr., F

*- due to a tie in voting an extra member has been added to the third team.