Nov. 21, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The West Coast Conference announced its 2001 honors and awards Wednesday, and to nobody's surprise the 2001 Champion Santa Clara Broncos claimed most of the top awards.
For the second year in a row Jeff Stewart (Sr., Bellevue, Wash.) garnered most of the Bronco attention, being named the 2001 WCC Player of the Year and Co-Defender of the Year. As a junior last season he earned Defender of the Year, making him the first Bronco to win the award two years in a row. The conference Player of the Year award is the first for any player since Mitch Murray took over the program in 1991. The Broncos have now claimed at least a share of the WCC Defender of the Year honor in each of the last four years.
The last time that the Bronco head coach Mitch Murray was named the WCC Coach of the Year was 1991, the year the Broncos lost in penalty kicks to Indiana in the national title game. Santa Clara's all-time winningest coach in men's soccer history repeated history Wednesday when he took home the honor for the second time in his career. Murray earned the award by leading his team to the school's eighth conference crown and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Murray has guided his clubs to a winning record in all 11 years of his head coaching tenure at Santa Clara, eight NCAA Tournament appearances and three College Cup appearances.
The league office also announce the All-Conference teams Tuesday, headed by the Player of the Year Stewart who was the Broncos' only representative on the first team. Senior Anthony Chimienti (San Jose, Calif.) and freshman Ryan Cochrane (Portland, Ore.) were selected to the league's second team. Chimienti scored three game-winning goals over the final three games including two on the road against WCC teams. Cochrane helped anchor one of the nation's best defenses alongside Stewart, as the Broncos allowed only 15 goals all season for a 0.75 team goals-against average. Keith Burden, Steve Cronin, Rusty Johnson and Jamil Walker all earned All-WCC honorable mention honors.
2001 WCC Honors
Player of the Year: Jeff Stewart, Santa Clara
Freshman of the Year: Matt Kovar, Loyola Marymount
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Jeff Stewart, Santa Clara, Justin Neerhof, San Diego
Coach of the Year: Mitch Murray, Santa Clara
First Team: Arturo Torres, LMU Jr. F Wilmington, Calif. , Ryan Coiner, USD Jr. F Aliso Viejo, Calif., Jeff Stewart, SCU Sr. D Bellevue, Wash, Nick Marcum, SMC Sr. M San Diego, Calif., Justin Neerhof, USD Jr. GK Denver, Colo., Nate Jaqua, POR So. F Eugene, Ore., Danny Huet, GON Jr. D Aurora, Colo., Arni Ingi Pjetursson,GON Fr. MF Reykjavik, Iceland, Brandon Henley, POR Sr. F Sacramento, Calif., Kelly Gray, POR Jr. F San Jose, Calif., Zach Scott, GON Sr. D Haiku, Hawaii.
Second Team: Michael Erush, LMU So. M Van Nuys, Calif., Scott Burcar, USD So. M Graham, Wash., Anthony Chimienti, SCU Sr. F San Jose, Calif., Andres Murriagui, LMU Jr. M Laguna Hills, Calif., Chris Schwarze, USF Fr. D Camarillo, Calif., Curtis Spiteri, POR Jr. GK Vista, Calif., Garrett Turk, USD Jr. D Laguna Nigel, Calif., Matt Kovar, LMU Fr. D Palos Verdes, Calif., Sy Reeves, USD Jr. F Ellensburg, Wash., Josh Hansen, USF So. F. Phoenix, Ariz., Ryan Cochrane, SCU Fr. D. Portland, Ore.
Honorable Mention: Issac Vanden Burg, POR, Josh Duffy, SMC, Jamil Walker, SCU, Jeff Kovar, LMU, Steve Cronin, SCU, Rusty Johnson, SCU, Matt Pritchard, GON, Anthony Medina, USF, Joe Astroth, SMC, Kyle Tanner, POR, Gerard Hylkema, USF, Tryggvi Bjornsson, GON, Brandon McNeil, POR, Scott Yuska, GON, Keith Burden, SCU, Kevin Novak, LMU