Jan. 30, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The 2011 season represented a breakthrough for the Villanova men's soccer program as it won its first two postseason games in school history and that success was celebrated on Saturday evening, Jan. 28, at the Connelly Center as the program hosted its annual banquet.
Each of the ten previous squads to have advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament since the Wildcats first qualified in 1984 were recognized and representatives of those teams addressed the audience in the Villanova Room. Among those to speak were former standouts Dan Regan (1984), Pat O'Malley and Eric Hinds (1991), Doug Nevins (1993), Patrick Gallagher and Brett Stassfurth (2005), Connor Esposito (2009) and Nick Rouzier (2010).
The 2011 Wildcats upended No. 19 Notre Dame and No. 4 USF by the identical score of 1-0 in November to earn the first two postseason wins for the school. Those triumphs lifted the Wildcats to their first visit to Red Bull Arena, where they fell to St. John's 2-0 on a pair of late goals.
Villanova also established a new single season school record for shutouts in a season with nine.
Seniors Chris Christian, Kevin Garcia, Matt Margiotta were also honored. Garcia was unable to attend as he is currently training with the New England Revolution after having been selected in this month's MLS supplemental draft. He was represented by his parents.
The program's individual award winners were also revealed at the banquet. The list included:
Defensive most valuable players: Garcia and Kyle McCarthy.
Honorary Defensive MVP: Christian.
Kaizen Award: John Fogarty.
Offensive MVP: Dylan Renna.
Nova Club (recognizing intangible contributions): McCarthy.
BIG EAST All-Tournament team: Kyle Soroka.
Connor Esposito 12th man Award: Margiotta.
Villanova will return 10 of its 11 starters and most of its key reserves for the 2012 season.