Nov. 11, 2010
STATE COLLEGE Pa. -
Indiana University men's soccer junior forward Will Bruin was honored for his 15-goal regular season performance with the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award, the conference office announced Thursday night at the Big Ten Tournament awards banquet in State College, Pa.
Seven Indiana players were singled out for their play with three selections on the All-Big Ten first team and one second-team pick. The Hoosiers also had three players named to the All-Freshman team, and head coach Todd Yeagley was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in his first season with the Hoosiers.
Bruin, who is one of four unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selections, finished the regular season tied for the conference lead in goals scored with 15 and was also tied for the league lead in goals scored in Big Ten matches with five. Bruin opened Big Ten play with the game-winning goal with 11 seconds left in the match in a 3-2 victory at Penn State on Sept. 24. He also had two goals in a 3-0 victory at then-No. 10 Michigan State on Oct. 24. Against Northwestern in the match which would clinch the Big Ten regular season title for the Hoosiers, Bruin helped lead IU back from a two-goal deficit with scores in the 53rd and 62nd minutes, then assisted on the game-winning goal from Joe Tolen in the 80th minute as Indiana captured its 14th Big Ten regular season title. Bruin leads the team in goals (15), points (33), shots (84) and shots on-goal (42).
"He had an unbelievable year," Yeagley said. "He came into this year having improved some of the nuances of his game, his runs and scoring different types of goals. To get 15 goals and have none come from restarts is tough to do. He did it consistently throughout the year and scored big goals at big times.
"He had some good support this year too. We had some guys that allowed him to have this success. Anytime you have an award like this, Will knows there is a lot of support that comes along with it. He will now go down among some of Indiana's best players with this award."
It is the second-straight season Bruin has been named to the All-Big Ten first team. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2008. This marks the 11th time that an Indiana player has been named a Big Ten Player of the Year. From 1991-2008 the conference named a single player of the year, before moving to offensive and defensive player of the year awards in 2009. The last Hoosier to earn the award was Josh Tudela
Joining Bruin on the first team is senior Andy Adlard. Adlard was a second-team selection in 2008 and 2009. This season the midfielder has started all 17 matches and is second on the team in scoring with five goals and seven assists for 17 points. His seven assists is a team high and ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Adlard is tied with Bruin for the team lead in game-winning goals and is a perfect 3-for-3 on penalty kicks this season.
Senior defender Rich Balchan was also named to the All-Big Ten first team for the first time in his career after earning second-team honors in 2009. Balchan has appeared in 14 matches with 13 starts and has seen time in various spots for Indiana. Balchan has started at left back as well as holding midfielder and has been a key component in the defensive shape. Indiana has posted three shutouts this season and limited the opposition to just 39 percent shot on goal average.
Also being honored for his defensive work is junior Tommy Meyer who was named to the second team. Meyer picks up his first All-Big Ten honor, serving as a mainstay in central defense with 16 starts. Meyer's ability to hit the long ball out of the backfield has also helped spark the IU attack with two assists to his credit this season.
The Hoosiers placed three on the All-Freshman team in forward Nikita Kotlov and midfielders Jacob Bushue and Harrison Petts. Petts was one of four unanimous picks for the All-Freshman team, starting 16 matches in his rookie campaign. Petts has two goals and five assists on the season, with both of his goals coming in conference play against Penn State and Wisconsin.
Bushue has taken over the starting role as holding midfielder in his first season, starting 11 of 17 matches played. Known for his hard-nosed play, Bushue's job is to break up the opponent's attack and he has done that with the skill of a more veteran player this season. Kotlov has appeared in all 17 matches, making 15 starts and contributing two goals and four assists. Kotlov's first score of the season came against then-No. 22 Drake in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. He then staked the Hoosiers to a 1-0 lead at Penn State, a game they would go on to win 3-2 to start the Big Ten season.
Sophomore defender Caleb Konstanski was named Indiana's Sportsmanship Award honoree. Konstanski has started all 17 matches at central defense with several goal-saving stops throughout the season. He also picked up his first career goal with the game-winning score in a 2-1 win over Michigan.
Yeagley was honored by his peers after leading Indiana to the Big Ten regular season title in his first year with the Hoosiers as head coach. In his inaugural season at IU Yeagley and his staff have led Indiana to a 9-6-2 record, including a 4-1-1 mark in Big Ten play. Of Indiana's nine victories, six have come against ranked opponents including road victories at Penn State, Creighton and Michigan State.
"It is a great honor in the sense it shows the team had the year we hoped to have in the Big Ten," Yeagley said. "It is a reflection of the team, and that goes for any of these individual awards. I am very pleased with our staff. I think we have unbelievable support within our staff and it has been a fun year."
He is the first person to have won both the Big Ten Freshman of the Year (1991) and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors, and with his father becomes the first father-son combo to win the coach of the year award in conference history. Jerry Yeagley was a seven-time Big Ten Coach of the Year award winner.
Indiana opens Big Ten play tomorrow as the No. 1 seed when it faces No. 4 seed Penn State in the second semifinal match at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.