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Men's Soccer

Nealis Named Defensive Player of the Year as Seven Hoyas Earn BIG EAST Honors

WASHINGTON – Junior defender Dylan Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y. / Massapequa) was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year on Friday as seven different Hoyas earned BIG EAST season honors the league announced Friday. Five Hoyas were named All-BIG EAST and two earned a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.
 
Nealis anchored a Georgetown defense which earned three shutouts in BIG EAST play and limited opponents to a 0.84 goals against average (GAA). The Hoyas combined to outshoot their opponents by a 148-97 margin, including 68-42 on goal, while doubling them up in goals, 16-8. Nealis also added a game-winning goal and three assists in conference action. His three helpers tie him for fourth in the league.  Overall, he is fourth on the squad in scoring with one goal and six assists for eight points.  He was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8.
 
Nealis is the first Defensive Player of the Year for Georgetown since Joshua Yaro (C'18) earned back-to-back honors in 2014 and 2015.  This is Nealis' first postseason honor as he was one of three Hoyas named First Team All-BIG EAST.
 
Georgetown's two starting forwards also earned nods to the first team as sophomore Derek Dodson (Aurora, Ill. / Waubonsie Valley) and junior Achara (Enugu, Nigeria / Berkshire School [Mass.]) were both recognized. Dodson had nine points on four goals and one assist in league play to rank fourth in the BIG EAST in points and third in goals.  He had two game winners including the golden goal to defeat No. 14 Creighton and give the Hoyas the No. 2 seed in the conference championship.  Overall, Dodson is first on the team in points with 19 off of nine goals and one assist.  This is his second career award after being named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and Second Team All-BIG EAST a season ago.
 
Achara is third on the team in BIG EAST scoring with three goals, including two game winners, to his credit.  Overall, he is second on the team in scoring with six goals and one assist for 13 points on the year.  He was both the national and BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24, and received a nod to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 21.  This is his first BIG EAST postseason honor.
 
Senior captains Kyle Zajec (Westport, Conn. / Staples) and Brendan McDonough (Matthews, N.C. / Charlotte Catholic) both earned spots on the All-BIG EAST Second Team.  Zajec was second on the squad in league scoring with two goals and a team and league-high four assists for eight points.  He was also 2 for 2 on penalty kicks in BIG EAST play.  Overall he is third on the team in scoring with three goals and six assists for 12 points. Zajec received two nods to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. McDonough was part of the talented backline that managed three shutouts and a 0.84 GAA in league games.
 
This is Zajec's first postseason honor and McDonough's second as he was named to the first team a season ago. 
 
Earning positions on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team were midfielder Sean Zawadzki (Olmsted Falls, Ohio / Olmsted Falls) and goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis (Athens, Greece / Nea Genia Zirdi).  Zawadzki appeared in all nine BIG EAST contests with seven starts to his credit.  Nikopolidis started in seven games managing two shutouts and a 0.96 GAA in league play to go along with his 23 saves.   He was the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week on Aug. 27 and earned a nod to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Sept. 24.
 
Achara, Dodson and McDonough were all Preseason All-BIG EAST selections.
 
Georgetown will have the week off before hosting the winner of third-seeded Providence and sixth-seeded St. John's at Shaw Field on November 7.  Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN).  Live stats will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.
 
To watch BEDN, download the FOX Sports GO app for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire tablets and phones and select Windows devices to view BEDN games on-the-go. The app also supports Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast. The FOX Sports GO platform can also be accessed at FOXSportsGO.com on desktops. A cable provider's login is required to access FOXSportsGo on a desktop.
 
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