CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson men’s soccer program held its annual awards banquet on Saturday, March 28 at the scenic Outdoor Lab on the Clemson University campus. It was a festive atmosphere, as the Tigers had plenty to celebrate, including an ACC Championship and a run to the NCAA Round of 16, as well as many individual athletic and academic accomplishments.
The evening began with hors d’oeuvresand dinner, followed by opening comments from Associate Athletic Director & Men’s Soccer Sport Supervisor Kyle Young and Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich, and the presentation of awards.
Junior midfielder Paul Clowes was named the Dalton Family Most Valuable Player. Clowes, also an All-ACC selection and MVP of the ACC Tournament, started all 21 games in 2014, scored two goals and tallied five assists, provided consistent play throughout the entire season, and finished the year strong, playing some of his best games at the end of the season.
Senior defender Phanuel Kavita was the Defensive Player of the Year and sophomore forward Austen Burnikel was the Offensive Player of the Year for 2014. Kavita started all 21 games, and played 2,065 minutes, tied for most on the team, anchoring the Clemson back line. In fact, he started all 81 games of his four-year career on defense for the Tigers. Burnikel scored a team-best five goals in 2014, including three gamewinners, against Pittsburgh, Virginia and NC State.
Freshman midfielder Oliver Shannon earned the Newcomer of the Year award after posting three goals and two assists in his rookie season. Two of the three goals were gamewinners scored in overtime, vs. Providence and Coastal Carolina. Redshirt junior forward Kyle Murphy garnered one of four new awards presented at the banquet, the Scout Team Player of the Year award, awarded to a player who showed unwavering commitment to preparing the team for upcoming matches throughout the year.
Manager Keith Tormey and Academic Advisor Lindsey Ricketts were other recipients of new awards for 2014. Tormey, a junior Health Science major and the son of Pearse Tormey, a four-year letterwinner for the Tigers from 1987-90 and member of the 1987 National Championship team, earned the 12th Man Solid Orange Award, while Ricketts, a 2004 graduate of Clemson in her fifth year as an academic advisor and her second advising the men’s soccer team, earned the Service Award.
Pearse Tormey was the recipient of the first ever I.M. Ibrahim Award. The award was presented to Tormey by Ibrahim’s widow, Julie and son, Darian. Tormey gave an emotional speech about his strained relationship with Ibrahim shortly after his time at Clemson, but how the two ultimately mended fences, grew to love each other and became great friends. Going forward, the I.M. Ibrahim Award will be presented annually to an alumnus who has made a significant contribution to the program reflecting the passion and values Coach Ibrahim embodied during his Clemson career.
Next, seniors Bobby Belair and Ara Amirkhanian took the stage to speak on behalf of the senior class. Belair, who was honored with the Ratchford Coach’s Achievement Award earlier in the evening, gave a heartfelt speech thanking and recognizing all those involved with the program throughout the season, including members of the support staff, his teammates and especially, his coaches. Amirkhanian followed with a humorous speech, written on the back of a parking ticket, a fact which incited quite a bit of laughter from the audience, about the highs and lows of the 2014 season.
The other four members of the senior class – Kavita, Amadou Dia, Chris Glodack and Manolo Sanchez – are currently playing professional soccer and were unable to attend, but sent words of thanks and encouragement to those present at the banquet via video.
Head Coach Mike Noonan had one final surprise in store at the end of the evening, as he unveiled the 2014 ACC Championship rings, which had recently arrived from the jeweler. Noonan, along with Associate Head Coach Phil Jones and Assistant Coach Liam Curran presented each member of the team and staff with his or her ring. It was a celebratory affair, and also an emotional one, as each person was undoubtedly looking back on the memories of a season they will never forget with a group of players that Noonan has regularly referred to as “some of the greatest character young men that I’ve been associated with in my 27 years as a head coach.”
ACC Championship Rings are here!!! What a great finishing touch to the celebration of our season! pic.twitter.com/dQLIGMfG0x — Clemson Men’s Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) March 29, 2015
ACC Championship Rings are here!!! What a great finishing touch to the celebration of our season! pic.twitter.com/dQLIGMfG0x
— Clemson Men’s Soccer (@ClemsonMSoccer) March 29, 2015
COMPLETE LIST OF 2014 AWARD WINNERS
All-ACC TeamPaul Clowes – Second TeamKyle Fisher – Second TeamPhanuel Kavita – Second TeamManolo Sanchez – Third TeamAndrew Tarbell – Third Team
ACC All-Tournament TeamPaul Clowes – Most Valuable PlayerAra AmirkhanianBobby BelairKyle FisherPhanuel KavitaAndrew Tarbell
NSCAA All-South Region TeamKyle Fisher – Third TeamPhanuel Kavita – Third Team
12th Man/Solid Orange AwardKeith Tormey – Team ManagerAn individual on the team who pursued excellence on and off the field by representing the men’s soccer program in a positive manner.
Service AwardLindsey Ricketts – Academic AdvisorAn individual that is external to the team who demonstrated outstanding service directly to the men’s soccer program through their dedication, hard work and efforts.
GPA AwardsFreshman – Chris HeijjerSophomore – Michael ZierhofferJunior – John CajkaSenior – Bobby Belair
Newcomer of the Year AwardOliver Shannon
Scout Team Player of the YearKyle MurphyA player that was committed to preparing the team for upcoming matches on a daily basis, pushed the starting eleven in training and was always ready when called upon.
Ratchford Coach’s Achievement AwardBobby BelairA player whom the coaches feel went above and beyond what was asked in order to unite the team throughout the season.
Defensive Player of the YearPhanuel Kavita
Offensive Player of the YearAusten Burnikel
I.M. Ibrahim AwardPearse TormeyThis award shall be given annually to an alumnus who has made a significant contribution to Clemson Men’s Soccer that reflects the passion and values that Coach Ibrahim left during his career as a coach, educator, entrepreneur and champion. The award recipient will be an ambassador for the year for Clemson and the men’s soccer program in memory of Coach Ibrahim.
Dalton Family Most Valuable Player AwardPaul Clowes
August 20, 2019
August 19, 2019