Nov. 10, 2011
It was announced tonight by the BIG EAST Conference at the annual awards banquet that UConn freshman goalkeeper Andre Blake (May Pen, Jamaica) was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year and sophomore center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste(Brentwood, N.Y.) was crowned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year.
Both players were named to the All-BIG EAST First Team and were joined by sophomore forward Mamadou Doudou Diouf(Dakar, Senegal). Diouf leads the Huskies with 22 points on 10 goals and two assists. In the BIG EAST Conference, Diouf notched five goals and one assist for 11 points.
Blake and Jean-Baptiste become the 16th and 17th student-athletes to earn BIG EAST Player of the Year honors under Head Coach Ray Reid. Under Reid, the Huskies have tallied 25 Player of the Year awards since 1997.
Blake is UConn's second-straight Goalkeeper of the Year (Josh Ford2010) and the third overall (Bryheem Hancock 2002). The freshman keeper leads the nation with 13 shutouts and ranks second in the NCAA with a 0.34 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
Baptiste continues a long tradition of defensive dominance at UConn, becoming the program's third student-athlete to be named Defensive Player of the Year. The three players have combined for seven awards as both Julius James (2006-2008) and current Assistant Director of Soccer Administration Chris Gbandi(1999-2001) won the award three-straight seasons.
Andre Blake is the 2011 Goalkeeper of the Year
Baptiste anchored a Connecticut defense that has allowed just seven goals this season and has recorded 14 shutouts. The sophomore center back has also scored a goal in each of the last two games.
Six UConn players took home hardware at the banquet with junior midfielder Jossimar Sanchez (Paterson, N.J.) being placed on the All-BIG EAST Third Team and senior forward Tony Cascio (Gilbert, Ariz.) and junior midfielder Carlos Alvarez(Los Angeles, Calif.) earning spots on the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
USF forward Dom Dwyer was named the Conference's BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and West Virginia forward Andrew Bevin was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Marquette's Callum Mallace and St. John's senior Pablo Punyed were named Co-Midfielders of the Year.
Marquette was named Coaching Staff of the Year after winning the BIG EAST Blue Division after being picked sixth in the Preseason Poll.
UConn will face Louisville in the first semifinal game on Friday at Red Bull Arena beginning at 5 p.m. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network and can be heard at WHUS.org/91.7fm.