Jan. 15, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame seniors Ryan Finley and Dillon Powers have been named Soccer America MVPs. Finley, a forward, was selected to the first team, while Powers, a central midfielder, was a second-team pick.
Soccer America's MVPs were introduced in 1976 and honor the players who have had the biggest impact on their team's success regardless of position. In addition to the honors for Finley and Powers, Fighting Irish left back Max Lachowecki was named to the Soccer America All-Freshman Second Team.
Finley (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley/Duke) has garnered several accolades for his stellar 2012 campaign. He played in all 22 matches this season and ranked second nationally in goals (21) and points (46) en route to earning first team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Finley led the BIG EAST with 12 goals in league play and was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Finley finished as the runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which is the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer.
Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) also copped first team All-America accolades from the NSCAA. He started all 22 matches in the central midfield and posted career-high totals in goals (5), assists (9) and points (19). The assist total was tied for 20th nationally. Powers, a two-time team captain, tallied three game-winning goals and played 2,011 of a possible 2,044 minutes on the field this season.
Powers was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy. He earned first team all-BIG EAST honors this season and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Powers also was selected to the NSCAA Scholar All-America First Team.
Lachowecki (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial) was a starter in every match this season and registered six points on two goals and two assists. He ranked third on the team in minutes played (2,015). Lachowecki netted the game winner in the 81st minute in a 1-0 victory over Oregon State. He was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week and was tapped as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Beavers. He also scored in a 3-0 win over Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
Lachowecki, a sophomore, was eligible for the all-freshman team since he did not play during his rookie season in 2011. He also was named to the 2012 All-BIG EAST Rookie Team.
Notre Dame posted a 17-4-1 record this season. The 17 wins were the most for the Irish since 1988. The Fighting Irish won the program's third BIG EAST Championship title and were the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Championship for the first time ever. Notre Dame fell to eventual national champion Indiana, 2-1 in double-overtime, in the third round of the tournament.