For the first time in his career, junior forward Victor Diaz has been named a first-team All-Big Ten selection, the conference announced at its annual banquet Thursday night in East Lansing, Mich. Defender Aaron Nichols also earned a spot on the all-freshman team.
After being named second-team All-Big Ten in each of his previous seasons, Diaz (Madrid, Spain) becomes the first forward to be placed on the conferences first team since Nick Van Sicklen earned a spot in 2004.
With his selection to the first team, Diaz continues a four-year streak of Wisconsin placing at least one player on the All-Big Ten first team, following Van Sicklen in 2004 and Aaron Hohlbein in 2005 and 2006. In head coach Jeff Rohrmans six seasons, Badgers have earned first-team spots five times.
Diaz earned the honor after leading the Badgers in assists (eight) and points (16) this season. His eight assists ranked third among league players in all games while his seven points in conference games tied for third place.
Nichols (Woodstock, Ill.) made an immediate impact during his rookie season, helping the Badgers record seven shutouts from his outside back position. He played in more games than the rest of his freshman class combined, appearing in 18 games while starting six contests.
Nichols becomes the 10th Badger to earn a place on the All-Big Ten freshman team during Rohrmans tenure. Forward Eric Conklin and midfielder Pablo Delgado each earned the distinction last year.
The Big Ten also announced the leagues Sportsmanship Award honorees, a list that included UW senior defender Nick Caronna (Brookfield, Wis.). Caronna scored three goals and added an assist while starting 16 of the 17 games in which he appeared.