SOCCER BANNER 2004: MAC COACH & NEWCOMER OF YEAR, RECORD SIX
--- In anyones book, taking two out of three is not chopped
liver. For the Northern Illinois University mens soccer program,
winning two of the three 2004 Mid-American Conferences major
postseason awards might be a T-bone steak or better.
For the record,
second-year Huskie head coach Steve Simmons was named the
MAC Coach of the Year in voting by his peers while Northern Illinois
freshman forward Curt Zastrow was honored as the Mid-Am Newcomer
of the Year by the leagues coaches. University of Kentucky
mid-fielder Jamal Shteiwi repeated as league Player of the Year.
The icing on
the Huskie mens soccer cake? Simmons much-improved Northern
Illinois kickers garnered a school-record six spots on the All-MAC
team and wound up second only to Kentuckys seven all-league
selections this year.
Rick Chryst made the announcements from Mid-Am headquarters
Simmons led his team to a 12-7-0 won-lost-tie overall record and
a 4-2-0 mark in the league this autumn---a nine-victory improvement
from the 2003 campaiagn when the Huskies finished 3-13-2. En route,
the Simmons-coached Northern Illinois kickers upset MAC regular-season
champion Kentucky by a 1-0 score in Lexington and Big Ten Conference
representative University of Wisconsin, 1-0, in DeKalb. During the
2004 season, the Huskies fashioned a six-match winning streak and
earned the No. 3 seed in the Mid-Am Postseason Tournament. NIU was
upset by No. 7 seed University at Buffalo, 1-0, in the first round
of the MAC tourney.
soccer, Simmons became only the second Northern Illinois league
coach of the year. Former Huskie boss Willy Roy was named
the Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year in 1990. Officially,
Simmons was the recipient of the Gary V. Palmisano Coach of the
what an honor, Simmons told the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.
With so many good coaches in the league, to have my peers
think I deserved that is a tremendous honor for me, but more a reflection
on the guys on the team and how they did. Im very proud of
them and really believe my award is a feather in their caps. And
when you talk about having six guys get some sort of all-conference
honor, thats half your team on the field. That says a lot
for our guys.
the first player in MAC mens soccer history to win the league
Player of the Year award twice and paced the Wildcats to the loops
regular-season crown. The senior from Cincinnati, OH, paced the
Mid-Am regular-season in shots (55), shots per game (3.06), points
(30), points per game (1.67), goals (11), goals per game (0.61),
game-winning goals (3), and assists (8). Kentucky is an affiliate
member of the Mid-Am in mens soccer.
Freedom, WI / Reedsburg Area) not only made loop Newcomer of the
Year, but First-Team All-MAC as well. The 5-foot-10 forward contributed
18 points to the Northern Illinois cause with eight goals and two
assists. Zastrow represents the programs initial First-Team
All-Mid-Am performer since Peter Agrimson in 2001 and 2002.
scoring eight goals as a freshman in a quality league like the MAC
shows what a significant impact he made on our program, Simmons
said. What an honor for him as a freshman to be chosen first-team.
It certainly indicates he has a a bright future ahead of him and
I know hes not afraid to work hard. Hell use this honor
as motivation to further improve himself.
Mid-Am tenure, the Huskies have never boasted six all-league performers
until now. Joining Zastrow on the 2004 All-MAC list were soph mid-fielder
Jose Alvarado (Elgin / Burlington Central) on the first-team
unit, plus senior defender Bruce Conrad (Downers Grove /
South), freshman forward Fraser Gibson (Dumbarton, Scotland),
sophomore goalkeeper Steve Goletz (Downers Grove / South),
and sophomore mid-fielder Justin McGrane (Rockford / Boylan)
on the second-team squad. NIU had three All-MAC performers apiece
in 1997, 1998, and 2002.
for fourth in Northern Illinois point production with nine on one
goal and a team-high seven assists. Goletz rated No. 3 among Mid-Am
goalies with an 0.89 goals-against-average and tied for second in
the MAC with six shutouts. Gibson finished second in Huskie point
production with five goals. Conrad added four goals and one assist
and McGrane contributed three assists and two goals in 2004.
another young kid whos risen to be among the top mid-fielders
in the league in just one year, Simmons added. He took
a huge step up from his freshman to his sophomore season and is
certainly better of playing even better.
Having for guys on second team is another indication of how were
were blessed by some of the depth we were able to develop. Hopefully,
with a good recruiting class, well be ale to make that depth
Conference 2004 Mens Soccer Awards:
of the Year: Jamal Shteiwi, Kentucky
of the Year: Curt Zastrow, Northern Illinois
Gary V. Palmisano
Coach of the Year: Steve Simmons, Northern Illinois
Player, Pos. School Yr. Hometown
Alex Odwell, MF Akron Sr. Northhampton, England
Jamal Shteiwi, MF Kentucky Sr. Cincinnati, OH
Jose Alvarado, MF Northern Illinois So. Elgin, IL
Dustin Snyder, MF Western Michigan So. Plainwell, MI
Anthony Peters, F Kentucky So. Baton Rouge, LA
Curt Zastrow, F Northern Illinois Fr. North Freedom, WI
Firas Al-Samarrie,F Marshall Sr. Malmoe, Sweden
Cameron Knowles, D Akron Sr. Auckland, New Zealand
Thomas Senecal, D Kentucky Jr. Bethesda, MD
Brandon Stewart, D Kentucky Jr. Dallas, TX
Andy Gruenebaum, GK Kentucky Jr. Overland Park, KS
Player, Pos. School Yr. Hometown
Kirk Gibson, MF Marshall Jr. Allen, TX
Michael DAgostino, MF Kentucky Fr. Langley, British Columbia
Justin McGrane, MF Northern Illinois So. Rockford, IL
Edgar Rivera, MF Western Michigan Jr. Wheeling, IL
Michael Strong, F Kentucky Fr. San Antonio, TX
Fraser Gibson, F Northern Illinois Fr. Dumbarton, Scotland
Ryan Goldman, F Western Michigan Sr. Grand Haven, MI
Cheik Diarra, D Buffalo Sr. Hillsborough, NJ
Mike Barbera, D Marshall Sr. Huntington, WV
Bruce Conrad, D Northern Illinois Sr. Downers Grove, IL
Steve Goletz, GK Northern Illinois So. Downers Grove, IL