A total of five Rutgers men’s soccer players were honored by the Big Ten on Friday, with four players being named to respective conference teams.
Rutgers finished the season 9-5-2 (3-4-1 Big Ten) and will play No. 22 Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Sunday. Indiana is a third-seed in the tournament.
Junior attacker Jackson Temple and defender Vincent Borden were each selected to the All-Big Ten Second Team. It was a breakout campaign for Temple, a product of the Philadelphia Union Academy, who had six goals and two assists on the season. He closed the season strong, scoring a brace last week in a 4-2 loss at UConn and then having a goal and two assists in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Ohio State.
Borden has very quietly emerged as one of the premier centerbacks in the Big Ten, a graduate student who combines prototypical size and strength with a calming presence on the backline. He has tremendous vision and the ability to play the ball confidently out of the back.
Two New York Red Bulls Academy products appear to be a part of the team’s core moving forward and are seen as such around the conference. Midfielder Matthew Acosta (unanimous choice), along with freshman defender Joey Zalinsky, were both selections for the All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Both players were regulars in head coach Jim McElderry’s Starting XI this season.
Norwegian midfielder Ola Maeland, who scored in Sunday’s win over Ohio State, was chosen as the Rutgers’ Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.