Six Spartans Earn Post-Season Honors
Nov. 10, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - The Big Ten Conference announced its men's soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners at the Big Ten Tournament banquet on Thursday evening in Ann Arbor. Seven Spartan athletes were honored for their performance during their recently-completed season.
Senior midfielder Cyrus Saydee (Lansing, Mich.) was the lone MSU delegate on the First Team, while senior Mark Barone (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and freshman Adam Montague (Sylvania, Ohio) were named to the second team. Montague was one of three Spartans named to the All-Freshman team, as he and fullback Ryan Keener (Grand Blanc, Mich.) were unanimous selections, while midfielder Fatai Alashe (Northville, Mich.) was also named to the team.
Saydee shared MSU's team lead in assists, and finished the season with a goal and a team-best six assists. Saydee was a workhorse for MSU, playing in the second-most minutes of any member of the team, behind sophomore outside back Josh Barens. Saydee and Barens are the only two members of the team this season to play and start all 18 games.
Barone was a stabilizing force in what was an oft-injured backfield, which improved weekly as players adjusted to new roles throughout the early part of the season. Barone's defensive prowess was amplified by his offensive contributions, as he contributed two goals and four assists, good for third in the team in scoring. Montague was the team's leading scorer, with a team-best five goals and ranking second on the team in assists with five, for 15 points.
Keener, a redshirt freshman, was a player who consistently improved throughout the season, becoming not only a solid, reliable defender but also a player who could add an offensive punch. Keener had a game-tying goal early in the year against Georgetown, then the lone goal in MSU's victory over Michigan to regain the Big Bear Trophy; he finished the season with five points. Alashe was one of five players to appear in all 18 games, making 13 starts; he had the decisive goal in the 83rd minute whic forced a tie at Marquette on Sept. 16.
The Big Ten also recognized seven Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Garret Back was MSU's Sportsmanship Award winner.
Ohio State's Chris Hegngi takes home Offensive Player of the Year accolades, while teammate David Tiemstra earns the Defensive Player of the Year award. Indiana's Eriq Zavaleta receives Freshman of the Year honors, and Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan reels in the Coach of the Year award.
2011 MEN'S SOCCER ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS & INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
(ALL CAPS indicates unanimous choice)
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Hegngi, Ohio State
All-Big Ten Teams
at the official