Case Western Reserve University coach Dan Palmer was named the 2006 University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year in men's soccer after leading the Spartans to their first-ever UAA Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Case men broke a school record for wins with a 16-2-1 regular season mark on the way to its first national ranking. The Spartans were picked to finish eighth (last place) in this year's preseason coaches poll. Palmer is currently in his third season at Case.
"It is always an honor to receive recognition that is awarded by your coaching peers, and I am thrilled to be this year's recipient," said Palmer. "More than anything, this award recognizes the fact that we have talented players who worked extremely hard in the off-season and have combined that work ethic with a team-first attitude this season. It is also reflective of the outstanding efforts of our assistant coaches, Scott Anthony, Matt Gerding, and Vlado Hrelja."
The Spartans are currently ranked 12th in the country and will face Ohio Wesleyan University in a NCAA Tournament sectional semifinal match this Saturday at Case Field (11:00 a.m.).
Case sophomore forward R.J. French (Zionsville, IN) and sophomore goalkeeper Konrad Karasek (Prospect Hts., IL) were named to the first team on the men's side. French has 33 points on 11 goals and 11 assists this year while Karasek is 9-0 with a 0.34 goals against average.
Sophomore center-back Zeyad Schwen (Cincinnati, OH) and sophomore midfielder Matt Paglia (Pittsburgh, PA) were second team honorees and sophomore forward Kevin Bigart (Naperville, IL), junior midfielder Neal Duryea (Cheswick, PA), and senior center-back Greg Gasbarro (Hudson, OH) were honorable mention selections. SEE STATS
Junior defender Liz Altenau (Cincinnati, OH) was a second team honoree for the women, who finished 5-12-1 (1-5-1 UAA). Freshman defender Jen Soo Hoo (Berkeley Heights, NJ) and sophomore goalkeeper Kirsten McClain (Rochester, NY) were honorable mention selections. SEE STATS
"We didn't give up many goals this season and lost a lot of one goal games," explained Head Coach Emily Donovan. "Liz, Jen and Kirsten anchored our defense and it's promising to know all three will back next season."
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