Dec. 15, 2003
Three University of Notre Dame men’s soccer players have earned national honors over the past week, as collegiate soccer begins to announce its end-of-the-year awards. Senior Justin Detter and junior Chris Sawyer were named All-Americans, becoming the first pair to be honored in a single season at Notre Dame and the first All-Americans out of the program since Tony Capasso in 1996.
Detter was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) third-team during the NCAA Final Four activities over the weekend. Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer in 2003 with 14, Detter was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection and named the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player. The White Lake, Mich., native stepped up during Notre Dame’s post season run to the Sweet 16, scoring five goals in his last five games.
Detter finished the season with 33 total points (14 goals, five assists) and set a Notre Dame record for points in an NCAA match with five (two goals, assist) vs. UW-Milwaukee.
Sawyer earned a spot on the first team of the College Soccer News All-America listing last week. The junior from Highlands Ranch, Colo., was the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year and his three shut outs during the BIG EAST Championship landed him the tournament’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award. Sawyer led the BIG EAST with 12 shut outs in 2003 and posted an impressive 0.67 goals-against average.
Over the last 11 contests of the season, Sawyer held Notre Dame’s opponents to just four goals while compiling five straight shut outs. Of the 16 goals he allowed in ’03, eight came in two games meaning the Irish keeper held opponents to one or zero goals in 21 of 23 matches.
Notre Dame’s third national awardwinner ended up as freshman Greg Dalby. A starter in every contest during the 2003 season, Dalby began as a central defender in Notre Dame’s vaunted defensive line and eventually moved forward to the center midfield for the Irish post season run. Third out of Notre Dame’s position players in terms of minutes played (1,957) the Poway, Calif., native played a key role in Notre Dame’s defense holding its opponents to just 16 goals in 23 matches.