Cooksley, Enstrom and Shearer Claim BIG EAST Honors|
Nov. 3, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. -
After leading the Red Storm to its best BIG EAST regular season since 2009 with a 5-2-2 record, three St. John's players have been recognized by the conference for their efforts throughout the campaign.
Harry Cooksley has garnered BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year honors, David Enstrom has taken home BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year accolades and Jack Shearer has unanimously earned a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.
Cooksley becomes the fifth midfielder in St. John's history and the first since Pablo Punyed in 2011 to take home the conference's top honor for that position, while Enstrom becomes the ninth Johnny overall and the first since Joel Gustafsson in 2008 to be named the BIG EAST's top defensive talent. Shearer's selection to the all-freshman team marks the fourth-straight year that a St. John's rookie has been honored by the conference for his contributions.
2017 marks only the fourth time in the long and storied history of St. John's Men's Soccer that two Johnnies have garnered major awards from the conference in the same year. The feat last occurred in 2008 went Gustafsson claimed BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year honors and Nelson Becerra was named the conference's top midfielder.
Despite missing five games, including the opening two contests of BIG EAST action, with injury, Cooksley still managed to put together a spectacular season for the Red Storm. In 12 appearances, the senior has tallied three goals and five assists, tying for the team lead with 11 points on the year. His five helpers are tied for eighth in the conference despite his limited service this season.
Since returning to the pitch at Butler on Sept. 30, Cooksley has been instrumental in helping the Red Storm succeed in conference play. In just his second game back, the London native tallied his first career brace, scoring both of the Red Storm's goals in a 2-2 draw at Creighton. On the team's current four-game unbeaten streak, he put forth a two-assist effort against Villanova before adding another helper on the Red Storm's game-winner against No. 10/7 Georgetown.
An electric talent that draws the attention of nearly every defender on the field, Cooksley's contributions go well beyond the stat sheet.
In his first campaign with the Red Storm after transferring from Buffalo, Enstrom has taken the BIG EAST by storm. With Enstrom at center back, the Johnnies have solidified a reputation as one of the nation's top defensive units, ranking first in the BIG EAST and 13th nationally with a 0.62 goals against average. Anchored by the 6-foot-2 Swede, St. John's has posted eight shutouts through the end of regular season play, the most by a Red Storm squad since 2013. In nine BIG EAST games, the Red Storm surrendered just three goals in non-penalty kick situations.
In addition to his efforts in the Red Storm zone, Enstrom has also contributed significantly on the offensive end. The senior registered his first assist as a member of the Johnnies in their 3-0 victory over Xavier on Sept. 23 before heading home the game-winner against No. 10/7 Georgetown on Oct. 28 at Belson Stadium. Of his 16 shots so far in 2017, eight have been on target for Enstrom.
A highly-touted talent out of Western Pennsylvania who scored 94 goals during his career at Central Valley High School, Shearer did not disappoint in his first season in red and white. Entering the postseason, Shearer ranks third on the team with nine points and has made appearances in all 17 games for the Red Storm, including 13 starts. After picking up his first collegiate points with a pair of assists in the Johnnies' 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 12, Shearer registered another multi-point effort two games later against RV/No. 19 Xavier, finding the back of the net twice. The rookie would continue to make his impact felt several more times in BIG EAST play, highlighted by a clever assist on Cooksley's second goal at Creighton and a textbook finish in front to give the Red Storm a 1-0 win at DePaul.
St. John's, the no. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship, will begin postseason play on Saturday night, welcoming sixth-seeded Creighton to Belson Stadium for a 6 p.m. tilt. The winner of that contest will earn a date with the no. 2 seed, Georgetown, on Nov. 8 in our nation's capital.
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
All-BIG EAST First Team
All-BIG EAST Second Team
BIG EAST All-Freshman Team