Nov. 13, 2008
2008 All-Big Ten Men's Soccer Teams (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
A year ago, Matt Eliason was a glaring omission from the Big Ten Men's Soccer All-Freshman Team. One year later, the sophomore proved he belonged by being named a first-team All-Big Ten pick. Eliason's selection headlines a total of four Wildcats who earned All-Big Ten distinction.
Also being recognized for Northwestern were second-team honorees senior defender Drew Ratner, junior defender Mark Blades and junior goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal.
Eliason, a Lombard, Ill., native, led the Wildcats with 11 goals during the regular season and raised that total to 12 with his tally in NU's opening-round Big Ten tournament win over Penn State on Thursday. He leads the Big Ten with six game-winning goals this year.
Blades, a Lakewood, Ohio, native, and Ratner, a native of Dallas, Texas, have each been key components of Northwestern's record-setting defense this season. Under their guidance, the Wildcats have posted a single-season school record 11 shutouts in 2008 and a miniscule 0.54 goals-against average.
Both players have also chipped in on the offensive end, as Blades is tied for second on the team with three goals and Ratner has a pair of tallies, both game-winners.
Meanwhile, Rosenthal, a Miami, Fla., native, has been in goal for all 11 of Northwestern's shutouts this year. The mark leads the Big Ten. Rosenthal's 0.45 goals-against average is tops in the conference, while he also ranks second with a .849 save percetage.
In addition, Peter O'Neill was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. A native of Fairway, Kan., he has seen his playing time increase as the season has gone along, including earning a spot in the Wildcats' starting lineup. He posted an assist in NU's win over Penn State Oct. 4.
Senior midfielder Tyler Voigt, a Wheaton, Ill., native, was honored as the Wildcats' Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient.
Northwestern takes a 13-3-3 record and a No. 13 national ranking into Friday's Big Ten tournament semifinal game against Michigan State at 11 a.m.