The Wisconsin mens soccer team handed out its team awards Monday night at its annual end-of-season banquet held at the Kohl Center. The Badgers finished their season with an 11-10-1 record, including a 2-0 win over Ohio State in the first round of the 2003 Big Ten Conference Mens Soccer Championship. The win was Wisconsins first tournament victory since 1998.
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Nick Van Sicklen
Junior forward Van Sicklen was second offensively for Wisconsin with six goals and three assists, totaling 15 points. Van Sicklens assists set up game-winning scores against UW-Milwaukee, Marquette and Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. Van Sicklen had two multi-goal games this season, netting two in Wisconsins 3-2 win over UNLV on Sept. 5 in the UNLV Tournament, and again scored twice in the Badgers 5-0 rout of IUPUI on Sept. 19 in the Dayton tournament. This season, Van Sicklen was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and to the All-Dayton Tournament team.
Co-Defensive Most Valuable Players: Noah Goerlitz and Eric Hanson
Junior goalkeeper Eric Hanson blanked opponents six times this season and combined with teammate Jake Settle for a team shutout of IUPUI in the Dayton tournament. Hanson collected 88 saves for Wisconsin this year and now has 165 for his career, ranking him seventh all-time among Badger goalkeepers. Hanson was twice recognized by the Big Ten during the regular season, earning Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Oct. 6 and sharing the award for the week of Nov. 3. Hanson is also a member of the All-Big Ten Second Team as well as the 2003 Academic All-Big Ten team.
For the second consecutive year junior midfielder Noah Goerlitz ranked among Wisconsins top three in minutes played this season. Goerlitz also dished out two assists, helping Jed Hohlbein in his hat-trick against Brown, and Nick Van Sicklen in his two-goal game versus IUPUI. Goerlitz was honored earlier this season as a member of the All-Big Ten Ssecond Team, the 2003 Academic All-Big Ten team, and was named the Defensive MVP of the adidas Brown Classic, held Sept. 12-14.
Co-Most Improved Players: Hamid Afsari and William Bagayoko
Playing mostly as a substitute at the beginning of the year, freshman Hamid Afsari earned a regular starting role in Wisconsins backline by mid-October. Afsari started eight matches this season and played in 21 of Wisconsins 22 contests. Afsari scored his first collegiate goal in Wisconsins final regular season game a 3-2 victory over Valparaiso on Nov. 8. Afsari also served up the game-winning assist to teammate Jed Hohlbein in the Badgers 2-1 win over DePaul on Oct. 22.
After seeing some playing time early in the season, freshman midfielder William Bagayoko became a fixture in Wisconsins rotation by mid-September, playing in 15 games wearing the Cardinal and White. Bagayoko made the best of an early opportunity with the Badgers, notching his first assist against UNLV on Sept. 5. Bagayoko tallied his second in Wisconsins last regular season game, setting up fellow freshman Hamid Afsari for the goal.
Outstanding Freshman: Aaron Hohlbein
One of Wisconsins top three in minutes played, freshman Aaron Hohlbein started and played in 21 of the Badgers 22 games this year. A member of the Wisconsin defense that blanked opponents eight times, Hohlbein also contributed offensively by scoring two goals and notching one assist. Hohlbeins first goal came unassisted to give Wisconsin the 1-0 win over regionally-ranked Penn State on Oct. 5. Hohlbein was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as well as the inaugural 2003 All-Big Ten Freshman Team this season. Hohlbein was also named to the 2003 Big Ten all-tournament team as well as the 2003 Rocky Rococo Wisconsin Soccer Classic all-tournament team.
William G. Reddan Spirit of Soccer Award: Erol Goknur and Watson Vaughan Prather
For their leadership on and off the field, Wisconsins two departing seniors, Erol Goknur and Watson Vaughan Prather, were honored with the 25th-annual William G. Reddan Spirit of Soccer Award.
In his four years as a Badger, Goknur compiled two goals and 12 assists for 16 points. This year against Illinois-Chicago, Goknur netted the game-winner before setting up teammate Nick Van Sicklen for Wisconsins second score of the night. Goknurs three assists put him in a tie for second on the team this year. Previously in his career, Goknur was named the teams Outstanding Freshman in 2000.
In his career, Prather has tallied three goals and six assists, equaling 12 points. This year Prather set up two goals with assists in wins over Yale on Sept. 12 in the adidas Brown Classic, and IUPUI on Sept. 19 in the Dayton Tournament. This season, Prather was honored with a spot on the Rocky Rococo Wisconsin Soccer Classic all-tournament team, as well as the All-Dayton Tournament team.
Badgers Announce 2004-05 Team Captains
Following the awards ceremony, departing seniors and two of Wisconsins three captains, Erol Goknur and Watson Vaughan Prather, announced the captains for next season.
Goalkeeper Eric Hanson will continue in the role for the second consecutive year, sharing duties with classmates Noah Goerlitz and Nick Van Sicklen.