PISCATAWAY, NJ - Following its second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past four seasons, the Rutgers men’s soccer team held its annual awards banquet Tuesday evening at the Hale Center on the school’s Busch Campus in Piscataway, NJ.
Senior tri-captain Josh Gros (Mechanicsburg, PA) was named the team’s most valuable player, taking home the Bob McNulty Award, as the senior officially put a close to his collegiate career. Gros comes off a 2003 campaign where he tallied 37 points on 16 goals and four assists. He was selected a NSCAA Third Team All-American and a College Soccer News Second Team All-American. Gros’ postseason hardware also included the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year award, as well as All-BIG EAST and NSCAA All-Mid Atlantic Region First Team honors.
Gros was also a recipient of the Art Brinkmann Award. The honor is awarded annually to the top goal scorer on the team. He finished the season tied for 10th in the Rutgers single-season record book in points and goals. Gros was among the national leaders in scoring, finishing 15th in goals (0.73) and 21st in points (1.68) per game. His five game-winning goals tied for sixth on the Rutgers single-season charts. He scored at least one goal in 13 of 22 matches this past season, leading Rutgers to a 9-3-1 record in those games.
Sophomores Chris Wilson (Ramsey, NJ) and Scott Gahagan (Old Bridge, NJ) shared the Richard Ferraro Award, honoring the player who was most inspirational to the team’s success and demonstrated the dedication, spirit and values of the Rutgers soccer program.
The George Dochat Award for Sportsmanship is handed out to the player whose character, both on and off the field , best exemplifies the virtues of courage, honor, and fair play. Junior Wes Kirk (Bloomfield, NJ) was this year’s recipient. He is one of only two Scarlet Knights to start all 22 games in 2003. Kirk led the team with six assists this season, tying for eighth in the BIG EAST Conference.
Senior tri-captain Todd Moser (Fanwood, NJ) took home the Alfred B. Sasser Trophy, awarded annually to a member of the senior class who has demonstrated the highest qualities of leadership, initiative, team spirit and loyalty, who participated as a member of the varsity soccer team for three years. Moser, who also started all 22 games this season, returned for his senior campaign following a year away from the field while recovering from a fractured leg suffered in the 2001 season. He was a two-time captain for the Scarlet Knights. A four-year starter, Moser was a fixture on the back line for Rutgers, while starting several matches at forward in 2003. He scored Rutgers’ only goal and converted a penalty kick in the third overtime in the Scarlet Knights’ 1-1 tie with St. John’s in the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals.
The banquet honored Rutgers’ four seniors – Gros, Moser, goalkeeper Scott Conway (Aston, PA) and back Don Gray (Toms River, NJ). Conway, a tri-captain, started all 15 games he played in during the 2003 season, posting an 8-4-2 record in goal. Gray played in 15 games this season, starting 12. He was limited by injuries throughout the season. Gray was a three-year starter for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers posted an 11-7-4 record in 2003, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. RU finished fourth in the BIG EAST regular season standings, reaching the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Scarlet Knights ended their season with a 3-2 loss at No. 21 Akron on Nov. 26 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They finished the season tied for 23rd in the final NSCAA national rankings.