November 8, 2012
BIG EAST' S BEST
Notre Dame's Finley Offensive Player of the Year
CHESTER, Pa. - Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley was named the Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
A total of five schools shared the 2012 Big East men’s soccer postseason honors, as the awards and all-conference teams were announced the night before the 2012 Big East Championship semifinals at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Louisville junior defender Andrew Farrell was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Connecticut sophomore Andre Blake earned his second-straight Big East Goalkeeper of the Year honor and teammate Carlos Alvarez, a senior, earned Big East Midfielder of the Year. Georgetown forward Brandon Allen collected Big East Rookie of the Year honors and the Syracuse staff earned Coaching Staff of the Year. Georgetown and Notre Dame shared the Team Fair Play Award.
Finley is the third player from Notre Dame to be named Big East Offensive Player of the Year. The senior forward, who earned Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors three times throughout the 2012 season, led the conference in points (37) and goals (17). Finley’s 2.18 points per game rank fourth in the nation. In league play, Finley recorded a conference-high 26 points and 12 goals, with the next highest player netting six goals.
Farrell is the second player from Louisville to earn Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors after Austin Berry won the award in 2010. Farrell anchored the Cardinals’ defense, which is tied for the top spot in the conference allowing 0.62 goals per game in league play. Louisville posted a 7-1 Big East record, earning the top seed in the Red Division. The Cardinals recorded four shutouts in conference play.
Blake wins Big East Goalkeeper of the Year accolades for the second-straight year. A Connecticut player has won the award for the last three years as Josh Ford took home the honor in 2010. In his second season with the Huskies, Blake ranks fifth in the nation in goals-against average (.53) and ninth in save percentage (.850). In league play, Blake posted 30 saves, a 0.88 goals-against average and an .811 save percentage.
Alvarez wins the Big East Midfielder of the Year after a season in which he was second on the Huskies with 21 points and seven goals. He registered a team-high seven assists. As a freshman, Alvarez earned Big East Rookie of the Year honors in 2009. Alvarez is the fifth player from Connecticut to be named the Big East Midfielder of the Year since the award was established in 2000.
Allen is the fourth Georgetown player to earn Big East Rookie of the Year honors, with the last recipient in 1997. In his first season with the Hoyas, Allen led the squad in the regular season with 24 points and 11 goals. Allen is also tied for first in game-winning goals in conference play with three.
Syracuse takes home the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year award for the first time since the award was switched from Coach of the Year in 2002. Prior to that, an SU head coach had won the award once when Tim Hankinson earned the honor in 1986. SU is led by head coach Ian McIntyre and assistant coaches Jukka Masalin and Mike Miller. After posting a 1-7-1 record in conference play in 2011, finishing eighth in the Red Division and missing the playoffs, the Orange posted a big turnaround in 2012. The squad finished the regular season 5-3-0 in Big East play, earning the No. 2 seed in the Red Division and a bye to the quarterfinal round. The Orange led the conference defensively with a 0.62 goals-against average in league play.
Georgetown and Notre Dame win the fourth Team Fair Play Award after totaling 110 points. Georgetown had 80 fouls and six yellow cards, while Notre Dame had 75 fouls and seven yellow cards. The award is given to the team or teams with the lowest total: foul (one point), yellow card (five points) and red card (10 points).