Nov. 13, 2008
PARK RIDGE, ILL. – The Big Ten office announced the 2008 All-Big Ten and All-Freshman men’s soccer teams, as well as individual award winners today. Michigan State’s Doug DeMartin was unanimously selected as Player of the Year, while Indiana’s Will Bruin was dubbed Freshman of the Year and Spartan head coach Joe Baum garnered all first-place votes for Coach of the Year.
A two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, DeMartin becomes Michigan State’s second all-time Big Ten Player of the Year (Reid Friedrichs, 1996). The senior forward leads the conference in goals scored and total points with 15 and 33, respectively. His 15 tallies leaves him just five shy of the Big Ten single-season record and is the most since the 2002 season. Under DeMartin’s guidance, the Spartans were crowned Big Ten regular-season champs for the first time in program history.
Bruin joins a long list of Hoosiers to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades as he becomes the 10th Indiana player to do so throughout the award’s 18 years of existence. The St. Louis, Mo., native has netted five goals so far this year, topping all other conference freshmen. The 18th-ranked Hoosiers are the No. 3 seed in the 2008 Big Ten Championship, as they have earned the third slot or better every single season.
In his 32nd year as the Spartan general, Baum picks up his third Big Ten Coach of the Year honor, moving him into second place all-time for most yearly awards. Aside from winning its first ever regular season title, Michigan State posted quite a turnaround, finishing the year 5-1-0 in conference play after going 2-3-1 in 2007. Currently MSU is ranked 16th in the NSCAA/adidas poll and are the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s Big Ten Championship.
The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for men’s soccer are Indiana’s Rich Balchan, Michigan’s Alex Morisset, Michigan State’s Ben Pirman, Northwestern’s Tyler Voigt, Ohio State’s Geoff Marsh, Penn State’s Ryan Badaracco and Wisconsin’s Kenny Dix. These seven student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.