Indiana freshman defender Grant Lillard was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday night. Sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson and junior forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen were named to the All-Big Ten first team as well.
Read the full release below:
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Big Ten Conference announced the 2014 men’s soccer All-Big Ten Teams, with Grant Lillard, Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Tanner Thompson earning all-conference honors.
A defender, Lillard was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Lillard has started all 19 matches at center back for the Hoosiers, anchoring a defense that has posted seven shutouts and led Indiana to 11 victories and a ranking as high as No. 1 in the country. Not just a lock-down defender, Lillard has also asserted himself on the offensive side, ranking third on the team in goals scored with four. Two of Lillard’s four goals this season have been game winners.
In addition to Freshman of the Year honors, Lillard was named to the All-Big Ten second team and was a unanimous choice for the All-Freshman Team. This is the third time in the last four years and 13th time overall a Hoosier has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Tommy Thompson won the honor in 2013.
Hollinger-Janzen was named to the All-Big Ten first team for the first time in his career. Hollinger-Janzen is tied for the team lead in goals scored with five and has started all 19 matches this season. He also ranks second on the team in shots (43) shots on goal (20) and is tied for fifth in assists with two.
Joining Hollinger-Janzen on the All-Big Ten first team is sophomore Thompson. Thompson has been the catalyst of the Indiana offense and is tied with Hollinger-Janzen for the team lead in goals at five, while also leading the team in total points with 13 (three assists). Thompson was responsible for the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win at Rutgers. He leads the team in shots (66), shots on goal (23) and is 1-for-2 in penalty kick attempts this season.
Hollinger-Janzen and Thompson earn the 96th and 97th first-team All-Big Ten honors for an Indiana player. A total of 53 different Hoosiers have been named to the All-Big Ten first team since the award started in 1991. Indiana is the only school to produce multiple four-time first-team All-Big Ten honorees (Brian Maisonneuve, Todd Yeagley, Aleksey Korol, Yuri Lavrinenko).
Senior midfielder Dylan Lax was honored with the Sportsmanship Award. Lax has started all 19 games at defensive midfielder for the Hoosiers and came through with his first goal of the season in a 1-1 tie at Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The Hoosiers would go on to win that match 5-4 in penalty kicks to advance to this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament semifinals against Ohio State.
The Hoosiers are back in action this Friday as they face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal match in College Park, Maryland. Game time is 1 p.m. ET and the match will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.