Nov. 10, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Northwestern can add another chapter to its already historic season as the Big Ten Conference released its All-Big Ten men’s soccer teams Thursday and there is a heavy Wildcat presence. Head coach Tim Lenahan is the unanimous selection as the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Oliver Kupe (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston), Tyler Miller (Woodbury, N.J./Bishop Eustace), Chris Ritter (Winnetka, Ill./New Trier), Lepe Seetane (Maseru, Lesotho/Trinity), Nikko Boxall (Auckland, New Zealand/Mt. Albert) and Peter O’Neill (Fairway, Kan./Rockhurst) each received conference honors.
After guiding Northwestern to its first Big Ten regular season title, Lenahan is the first coach in program history to win coach of the year accolades. Lenahan’s Wildcats were unbeaten in Big Ten play (4-0-2) for the first time in school history and in their last nine games (7-0-2) after starting the season 3-4-2. In 11 years at the helm of Northwestern, Lenahan has a 110-81-28 record and a 22-year career mark of 236-149-46.
This award adds to Lenahan’s already impressive resume as he inherited a Northwestern program that won a total of four Big Ten matches in the 10 years prior to his arrival. Lenahan has since turned the program into Big Ten champions and one that has reached the NCAA tournament five times in the last seven seasons.
The Wildcats also made a strong showing on this year’s All-Big Ten teams. After earning second-team honors in 2010, forward Oliver Kupe was one of three unanimous selections for first-team All-Big Ten. The senior once again led Northwestern with seven goals this season, many of which came in key moments. Kupe helped the Wildcats stay alive in the hunt for their Big Ten title when he scored a goal with about five minutes left as NU came back to tie then-No. 10 Indiana 2-2 on Oct. 30. He is among the Big Ten leaders in goals (third) and points (T-5th).
After posting nine shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.72, Tyler Miller is the goalkeeper selection on this year’s first-team All-Big Ten list. In his first season, Miller already ranks second on NU’s single-season shutout list, third for single-season goals-against average and tied for fourth on the career shutout list. Miller was also a unanimous selection for the All-Freshman Team.
Lepe Seetane (midfield), Chris Ritter (midfield) and Nikko Boxall (defense) were selected as second-team All-Big Ten honorees. Seetane is second on the team behind Kupe with five goals and 13 points while Ritter has four goals and 10 points on the year. Ritter’s fourth goal of the season was arguably the biggest as he found the back of the net at the 83:09 mark against Michigan to give Northwestern the 1-0 win and the Big Ten title.
Boxall played all 18 matches and was a key part in the NU defense that shut out nine opponents and had a 0.79 goals-against average on the season. He also was a unanimous selection for this year’s Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
One of this year’s senior leaders, Peter O’Neill is Northwestern’s sportsmanship award winner. O’Neill played and started all 18 games this season and has been a permanent fixture in NU’s midfield for 75 games over the last four years. This year, he is second on the team with five assists.
This is just the second time in school history that NU has five players on the all-conference teams. In 2007, David Roth (First Team), Carl Pett (First Team), Piero Bellizi (Second Team), Mark Blades (Second-Team) and Misha Rosenthal (Second Team) were all honored.
Northwestern is the No. 1 seed in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament and begins postseason action at noon CT Friday against No. 4 seed Indiana at the U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The match airs live on the Big Ten Network.
2011 MEN’S SOCCER ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Hegngi, Ohio State
Defensive Player of the Year: David Tiemstra, Ohio State
Freshman of the Year: ERIQ ZAVALETA, Indiana
Coach of the Year: Tim Lenahan, Northwestern
All-Big Ten Teams
Position First Team Second Team
Forward Alec Purdie, Indiana Adam Montague, MSU
ERIQ ZAVALETA, Indiana Parnell Hegngi, Ohio State
Oliver Kupe, Northwestern Chris Prince, Wisconsin
Chris Hegngi, Ohio State
Midfield Nikita Kotlov, Indiana Latif Alashe, Michigan
Cyrus Sadee, Michigan State Chris Ritter, Northwestern
Tomislav Zadro, Wisconsin Lepe Seetane, Northwestern
Austin McAnena, Ohio State
Defense CHRIS ESTRIDGE, Indiana Kofi Opare, Michigan
Tommy Meyer, Indiana Mark Barone, Michigan State
DAVID TIEMSTRA, Ohio State Nikko Boxall, Northwestern
Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, Northwestern Matt Lampson, Ohio State
Forward ERIQ ZAVALETA, Indiana
ADAM MONTAGUE, Michigan State
Kenny Cunningham, Ohio State
Midfield Kerel Bradford, Indiana
TYLER ARNONE, Michigan
Fatai Alashe, Michigan State
Brady Wahl, Ohio State
Defense RYAN KEENER, Michigan State
Nikko Boxall, Northwestern
AJ COCHRAN, Wisconsin
Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, Northwestern
Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
Sportsmanship Award Honorees:
Kerel Bradford, Fr., Indiana
Tim Bergsma, Jr., Michigan
Garret Back, Sr., Michigan State
Peter O’Neill, Sr., Northwestern
Sage Gardner, So., Ohio State
Jacob Barron, Jr., Penn State
Blake Succa, So., Wisconsin
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