2023 Men's DI Postseason Awards

2023 Men's DI Postseason Awards
by TopDrawerSoccer
December 18, 2023

The 2024 men’s soccer season ended with Clemson winning a second trophy in three years, but beyond the Tigers, there were plenty of outstanding teams and players.

That brings us to the TopDrawerSoccer post-season awards based on several factors, such as individual performance, statistical accomplishments, conference honors, and team success. Analyzing the entirety of the 2023 season, from kick-off in week one to the final whistle at the national championship game, here are your award winners for the men’s college soccer season.

For the first time in TDS history, the Player of the Year is a goalkeeper as Bryan Dowd of Notre Dame takes home the award. When a team predicted to finish ninth in the conference is playing in the national championship game four months later, there is plenty of awe at how that happened. In that inquiry, all roads lead to the Senior from Illinois. Here are some statistics to put his year in perspective. Of the six players to keep double-digit shutouts, only Dowd ranked in the top 20 nationally for total saves. His breathtaking performance against Akron made him one of just two players all season to make 12 or more saves in a game and keep a clean sheet. Of the nine keepers to play at least 1900 minutes, Dowd had the highest save percentage at 82.4 percent, not to mention his penalty kick heroics to help the Irish advance through the tournament. Any way you slice it, no player had a greater impact on a championship contender this season. Ousmane Sylla of Clemson, Logan Farrington at Oregon State, and Marshall catalyst Matthew Bell rounded out a loaded field.

The Freshman of the Year is Alex Harris of Cornell. The forward led all Freshmen in scoring with 12 goals, and with four additional assists in 15 matches, he averaged about a goal contribution every game. Although Harris showed signs of being an elite prospect as the Gatorade Washington Player of the Year and ECNL standout, few would have expected such a dominant year as he also finished sixth nationally in points per game, with no other Freshman finishing in the top 35. These performances were not against weakened opponents either, as shown by scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over defending National champions Syracuse in mid-September. With this, Harris became the first Ivy League player to win the award as he beat out Papa Mar Boye, who helped Clemson to a national title, Stephen Annor Gyamfi, who hit double-digit goals for Virginia, and Liam O’Gara, who seamlessly fit into an elite Wake Forest midfield.

Dan Stratford of West Virginia is the Coach of the Year. The fourth-year head coach led West Virginia to 17 wins, a Sun Belt final, and a first-ever College Cup appearance only a year after winning seven games and missing the NCAA tournament. The Mountaineers were as entertaining as they were successful, highlighted by scoring the sixth most goals of any team.

Check out the All-American teams below.

TopDrawerSoccer Postseason Awards

Player of the Year: Bryan Dowd, Notre Dame

Freshman of the Year: Alex Harris, Cornell

Coach of the Year: Dan Stratford, West Virginia

Best XI Teams

First Team

F: Logan Farrington (Oregon State), Charlie Sharp (Western Michigan), Ryan Carmichael (Hofstra)

M: Matthew Bell (Marshall), Ousmane Sylla (Clemson), Zachary Bohane (Stanford), Yannick Bright (New Hampshire)

D: Garrison Tubbs (Wake Forest), D Morris Duggan (Marshall), Kevin Bonilla (Portland)

GK: Bryan Dowd (Notre Dame)

Second Team

F: Jelldrik Dallmann (SMU), Tyrese Spicer (Lipscomb), Yutaro Tsukada (West Virginia)

M: Eliot Goldthorp (Hofstra), Mouhameth Thiam (Virginia), Sam Bassett (Denver), Bryce Boneau (Notre Dame)

D: Kenny Nielsen (Georgetown), Mads Westergren (SMU), Femi Awodesu (Penn State)

GK: Isaac Nehme (Denver)

Third Team

F: Alec Hughes (Massachusetts), Dylan Sing (Western Michigan), Forster Ajago (Duke)

M: Tucker Lepley (UCLA), Hugo Bacharach (Indiana), Jeorgio Kocevski (Syracuse), Brandon Parrish (Clemson)

D: Jonathan Robinson (Western Michigan), Hesron Barry (Wisconsin-Green Bay), Wyatt Meyer (California)

GK: Cole Johnson (SMU)

Freshman Best XI

First Team

F: Alex Harris (Cornell), Stephen Annor Gyamfi (Virginia), Ulfur Bjornsson (Duke)

M: Noah James (Western Michigan), Liam O’Gara (Wake Forest), Noeh Hernandez (DePaul), Joshua Saavedra (LIU)

D: Pape Mar Boye (Clemson), Will Eby (Michigan State), Luca Nikolai (James Madison)

GK: Julian Eyestone (Duke)

Second Team

F: Collins Oduro (Indiana), Kimani Stewart-Baynes (Maryland), Marco Silva (Marshall)

M: Caden Grabfelder (Penn State), Miles Bonham (Dayton), Pearse O’Brien (Providence), Saad Chaouki (Rider)

D: Arthur Duquenne (Clemson), Dylan Hooper (Stanford), Nick Lockermann (Vermont)

GK: Rowan Schnebly (Stanford)

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