|(l. to r.) Forward of the Year Max Lopez, Midfielder of the Year Shae Bottum, Defender of the Year Trent Vegter, and Goalkeeper of the Year Bryan See.
Photos: UChicago Athletics, Haley Staffon/St. Thomas Athletics, Calvin Knights, Johns Hopkins Athletics
D3soccer.com has announced its 2017 men's All-America teams. The teams were chosen by D3soccer.com staff, Division III soccer coaches and sports information directors from a field of nearly 400 nominations. This is the eighth year that D3soccer.com has recognized the top men's and women's players from across the nation.
The three men's All-America teams are comprised of thirty-three total players representing twenty-one schools and fourteen different conferences. Eight different teams have multiple selections—the highest total in the history of the awards—with national semifinalist Chicago leading the way with four players named. Six of this year's honorees are repeat selections, including a repeat player of the year and a three-time All-American. The latter, Brandeis senior midfielder Josh Ocel, becomes the seventh men’s player to be honored three times by D3soccer.com. A record high of thirteen juniors on the teams contributed to an all-time low of seventeen seniors; three sophomores rounded out the selections.
Junior Max Lopez of the University of Chicago is the D3soccer.com Forward of the Year. Lopez has gone from strength to strength for the Maroons during his three years, and this was his most prolific season by some distance, as the UAA Player of the Year notched 19 goals and 4 assists. A strong, powerful, and quick No. 9 whose talent in the air is particularly evident, Lopez bagged key goals against conference opponents Rochester, Case Western Reserve, New York University, and Washington U, before scoring three times in the NCAA Tournament en route to his team's first Final Four appearance since 1996.
The D3soccer.com Midfielder of the Year is senior Shae Bottum of the University of St. Thomas. Named MIAC Player of the Year, the physical and athletic Bottum was a key component of the Tommies’ emergence from a .500 side his freshman year to making a surprise Final Four run his junior year. Though they fell short of a second-consecutive Final Four appearance in his swan song this season, the Tommies still managed a run to the Elite Eight, and Bottum’s 9 goals (including 8 game-winners) and 15 assists were a key part of that success, as he scored in the Tommies' 2nd Round and Sweet 16 appearances against Loras and Otterbein, respectively.
Calvin College junior Trent Vegter is the D3soccer.com Defender of the Year for the second straight season—just the second men’s player to be tabbed player of the year more than once. An extremely athletic, versatile defender with good technical ability at the other end of the pitch, Vegter helped the Knights—who have also appeared in the Final Four and National Final during his time—to a 21-1-1 record this season and a goals against average of 0.43. And while the Knights were unfortunate to have run into the University of Chicago in the Sweet 16 in a matchup many felt was worthy of happening in a title game, Calvin head coach Ryan Souders will be happy to have the MIAA MVP and contributor of 4 goals and 10 assists back for another season.
The D3soccer.com Goalkeeper of the Year honor goes to senior Bryan See of Johns Hopkins University. A three-year starter for the Blue Jays after transferring from UC-Irvine, See backstopped Johns Hopkins to its most successful campaign in recent memory, as head coach Craig Appleby’s side reached the Sweet 16. Playing in the perennially strong Centennial Conference, his goals against average of 0.24 (a new single-season school and conference record) and save percentage of 0.917 were good for third and fourth, respectively, in Division III. Moreover, his 14 shutouts (second in Division III) tied the records for both school and conference.
The D3soccer.com Coach of the Year is John Born of North Park (20-2-2). This season, Born, who also won his fourth CCIW Coach of the Year award, earned his 200th victory at North Park en route to leading his team to the National Final. His Viking career ledger now stands at 215-101-38 (0.714). The Vikings’ 20 wins crushed the previous program high-water mark, first achieved in 2004 and then matched in 2006. During his first 18 years at North Park, Born had coached his teams to the six NCAA tournament berths prior to this season, but the Vikings had never advanced beyond the second round. Moreover, after finishing 2016 with a mark of 10-7-1 and starting this year 1-1-0, North Park was not on many radar screens in September. Over the course of the season, however, the Vikings went from being unranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 to earning one of the two national byes in the opening round, and embarked on a run that saw them finish Division III runner-up to Messiah.
|2017 MEN'S PLAYERS OF THE YEAR|
|Forward of the Year: Max Lopez (Jr.), Chicago|
|Midfielder of the Year: Shae Bottum (Sr.), St. Thomas|
|Defender of the Year: Trent Vegter (Jr.), Calvin|
|Goalkeeper of the Year: Bryan See (Sr.), Johns Hopkins|
|2017 MEN'S ALL-AMERICANS|
|F||Max Lopez *||Jr.||Chicago|
|F||Fabio De Sousa||So.||Rutgers-Newark|
|M||Shae Bottum||Sr.||St. Thomas|
|M||Jesse Marinaro||Sr.||John Carroll|
|M||Josh Ocel **||Sr.||Brandeis|
|D||Trent Vegter *||Jr.||Calvin|
|D||Dakota Rosenberg *||Sr.||Messiah|
|GK||Bryan See||Sr.||Johns Hopkins|
|M||Matias Warp||So.||North Park|
|D||Mike Swiercz||Sr.||Johns Hopkins|
|GK||Blake Mullen||Jr.||St. Joseph's (Maine)|
|M||Jimmy Grace||Sr.||Chris. Newport|
|M||Cory Santangelo||Sr.||Oneonta State|
|M||Nicco Capotosto *||Jr.||Chicago|
|D||Dalton Gaumer||Jr.||St. Joseph's (Maine)|
|D||Caleb Vandergriff||Jr.||Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|D||Devonte Black||Sr.||Buffalo State|
|* previous D3soccer.com All-America honors|
|2017 MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR|
|John Born, North Park (20-2-2) - 2017 National Runner-up|