Nov. 11, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame juniors Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway) and Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) have been named to the All-BIG EAST First Team for men's soccer and sophomore Joe Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) was a third team selection as voted on by the league's 16 head coaches. This is the first selection for both Dalby and Etherington to the conference's first team. Last season, Dalby was a second team selection and Etherington was named to the third team. The duo was also named to the 2005 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Dalby, a defender/midfielder, was one of four players tabbed as a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST team. He has been a stable force both in the Fighting Irish defense and midfield by starting every match. The junior tallied Notre Dame's first goal of the season just 1:26 into a 4-1 season-opening win against No. 7 SMU in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Sept. 2. He also scored the game-winner versus Pittsburgh on Oct. 22. Dalby was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List prior to the 2005 campaign.
Etherington has made 18 starts in the Fighting Irish midfield, tallying six points on two goals and two assists. He netted the game-winner versus Louisville earlier this season and also connected on his penalty kick during a shootout versus Syracuse in the first round of the BIG EAST tournament to help the Irish advance. Etherington has played in 60 matches during his Notre Dame career, which is second only to Dalby's 62 on the current Irish roster.
"When it comes to awards and all-star selections I feel it's difficult to do in a team sport like soccer," says Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "However, these guys are deserving. Greg Dalby has done a superb job. He had to play in the front and the back and he has the ability to adjust to both postions."
"Ian makes things happen. No one likes to play against him. It's no surprise that he and Greg made the first team. They have both performed very well."
Lapira, a forward, leads the team in points (15), goals (5) and assists (5). He has appeared in all 20 games, starting 13 of them. Lapira was named to the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team earlier this season after notching the game-winner against Saint Louis in double-overtime to give the Irish the title. The sophomore collected the first two-goal game of his collegiate career versus No. 16 Seton Hall on Oct. 29. He registered a four-point game versus West Virginia (Oct. 1) by tallying a goal and assisting on two others.
"Having Joe on the third team as a sophomore is a lofty recognition," says Clark. "He can now look to join Greg and Ian because they will all be back next year so that bodes well for our future. I also feel that we had several other lads that deserved recognition. But that will only make them more hungry."
Notre Dame has now garnered 33 All-BIG EAST selections, including 12 on the first team, since joining the conference in 1995. This marks the fifth straight season in which an Irish soccer player has appeared on the first team and the third straight in which Notre Dame has had multiple selections on the league's top squad.
In 2003, Justin Detter, Chris Sawyer and Jack Stewart were all tabbed as All-BIG EAST First Team members. Sawyer and Stewart earned their second appearance on the squad last season and were joined by their senior classmate Kevin Goldthwaite.
Cincinnati forward Omar Cummings, Connecticut defender Julius James and Seton Hall forward Sacha Kljestan joined Dalby as unanimous selections to this year's squad. Kljestan was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, while James took home Defensive Player of the Year honors. James' teammates Mpho Moloi and O'Brian White were selected as the conference's Midfielder of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively. St. Johns' Jason Landers was tabbed as the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year. The Seton Hall coaching staff copped the Coaching Staff of the Year Award.
Notre Dame is 10-7-3 overall this season, including a 6-4-1 mark in BIG EAST play. The Fighting Irish earned the Blue Division's No. 3 seed in this year's BIG EAST tournament and were eliminated by No. 16 St. John's, 1-0, last weekend in Queens, N.Y. The Irish will now wait to hear if their name will be called for the NCAA Championship when pairings are announced on Monday, Nov. 14th.
Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame men's soccer team by logging on to und.com or by calling the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
2005 BIG EAST MEN'S SOCCER AWARDS
2005 MEN'S SOCCER ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
* - unanimous selection