PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's soccer program was honored for its individual and team accomplishments for the 2017 season at the annual team banquet held at McShain Hall on Sunday afternoon. Senior midfielder Matt Crawford repeated as both the Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, while junior defender Eddie McCusker earned the squad's Defensive Player of the Year title as well as the Jack Dunn Award, presented to the student-athlete that best exemplifies the leadership qualities and ambition of Saint Joseph's men's soccer pioneer, Jack Dunn. Freshman defender Daniel Morales was selected the team's Rookie of the Year.
Crawford led SJU in points (12), goals (6), shots (57), shots on goal (22), and PK goals (2) this fall. The senior tri-captain was one of three Hawks to make all 18 starts and totaled 1,647 minutes, which ranked second among all Hawks and first among all SJU midfielders. Crawford played 15 full matches and recorded a hat trick in SJU's 3-1 season-opening win over Temple, scored a PK goal in SJU's 1-1 draw vs. Hartford, scored the late equalizer in SJU's 2-1 overtime win over Manhattan, and scored a PK goal in SJU's 2-0 win over George Mason.
For his career, Crawford recorded 37 points on 17 goals and three helpers in 67 appearances and 57 starts. Crawford took 145 shots, which ranks sixth all-time on Hawk Hill, in 5,195 career minutes. In terms of SJU team awards, Crawford was also named the Most Valuable Player, Offensive Player of the Year, Raymond Vasquez Award recipient, and Scholar-Athlete Award recipient in 2016 as well as the Scholar-Athlete Award recipient in 2015.
McCusker played every minute of the 2017 season to lead the squad in minutes played with 1,709. In all 18 starts, McCusker anchored SJU's defensive unit in wins over Temple, Manhattan, and George Mason and draws with Hartford, VMI, Central Connecticut, and UMass. The junior tri-captain scored his first collegiate goal at Dayton and dished out the match-winning assist in SJU's win over George Mason. McCusker earned the team's Best Teammate Award in 2016 and was tabbed SJU's Rookie of the Year in 2015.
Morales started 17 of 18 total matches on the back line, missing just one match, the season finale at Saint Louis, due to yellow card accumulation. Morales played in 16 full matches and totaled 1,603 minutes, which ranked third among all Hawks, second among all SJU defenders, and first among all SJU rookies. Morales also dished out assists against Temple and La Salle and played every minute in SJU's win over Temple, Manhattan, and George Mason and draws against Hartford, VMI, Central Connecticut, and UMass.
Saint Joseph's additionally celebrated the careers of its eight seniors as forward Isaac Agyapong, Crawford, midfielder Nick Hartwell, defender Kevin Lockhart, goalkeeper Trevor Nicol, goalkeeper Greg O'Connell, defender Tom Santilli, and defender Ben Zambetti were honored for their commitment and dedication to the program.
The Hawks, who went 3-11-4 (1-6-1 A-10) this fall, expect to return 21 letterwinners for the 2018 season.