Britner Named Ivy League Player of the Year, Grandstrand Earns Rookie of the Year
Nov. 21, 2007
Providence, RI - Finishing the 2007 soccer season with an undefeated 7-0-0 record in the Ivy League and a 15-1-1 overall record, the Brown Bears deservingly cleaned up the Ivy accolades. Senior Matt Britner (Halifax, NS) was named the League's Player of the Year, while freshman goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand (Orono, MN) received Rookie of the Year honors. Bruno also placed five players, including one unanimous selection, on the first team, and a sixth player on the second team. Brown also had two players named to Honorable Mention.
Although playing in just two games last year due to a season-ending injury, Britner returned to anchor a defensive unit that surrendered only 14 goals in 16 regular season games this year. A unanimous First Team selection in 2007 (and also in 2005), Britner provided an incredible presence for the back line of the Bears and was awarded with Player of the Year accolades. Britner was also recently awarded CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-District honors.
Freshman goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand (Orono, MN), whose dominance in the net has been incredible, was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year. Since receiving his first collegiate start against then #5 Santa Clara where he picked up six saves in Bruno's 2-1 victory, he has only gotten better as the season progressed. Grandstrand began his meteoric rise in the seventh game of the season and has been nothing short of spectacular, sporting a 10-0-1 record. In Ivy play, he may have been at his best, turning away chance after chance and rolling to a 6-0 record. A nearly unanimous selection for Rookie of the Year, Grandstrand was also selected to the Second Team.
Also placed on the First Team is midfielder Nick Elenz-Martin (Encinitas, CA), forwards, Kevin Davies (Port Washington, NY) and Dylan Sheehan (Wolfville, NS), and defender Rhett Bernstein (San Diego, CA)
Elenz-Martin, whose overall work often overshadows statistical accolades, was selected as a First-Team midfielder. Elenz-Martin has the ability to control the midfield and overall pace of the game. The two goals he tallied this year were both game-winners, and he also posted four assists.
Sheehan, who recently earned CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors, and Davies, have jockeyed for the team lead in goals for the better part of the season. Sheehan has 10 goals (four game-winners) and six assists on the season, while Davies has 10 goals (three game-winners) and three assists.
Bernstein, a pre-season Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List selection, has earned First Team All-Ivy recognition for the second time. Competing the Brown defensive trifecta, Berstein has helped solidify a defense that would not be beaten in Ivy League play. He has seen action in 17 games while scoring one goal and posting one assist this season.
Rounding out the Ivy accolades is junior midfielder Darren Howerton (Northboro, MA) and sophomore defender Chris Roland (Rochester, NY), who both earned Honorable Mention distinction. Howerton leads Bruno in assists with nine and has scored two goals (both game-winners). Roland has one goal and one assist this season, and has been a big factor in Brown's success.
Brown, the No. 6 overall seed in the Division I NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, will host either Providence College or Old Dominion at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28.