Graduate forward Matt Groenwald earned his first career All-America honor, as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named him to the third team over the weekend in conjunction with the College Cup. Groenwald became the 13th All-America honoree in school history, adding the award to a long list of academic and athletic achievements over his four seasons at St. John’s. Groenwald had a career year in leading the Red Storm to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th consecutive season and to the tournament’s round of 16 for the 10th consecutive season. He set a new career high with seven goals and matched a career best with 19 points in 2005. And with at least one point in all three of the team’s NCAA Tournament games, he saved the best for last. His goal in the 75th minute against Marist in the first round helped seal a 3-1 win, and his second-half score against Dartmouth proved to be the game winner as the Red Storm beat the Big Green 1-0 in the second round. In the team’s third-round loss to eventual national champion Maryland, Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph found the back of the net for an equalizing goal off a cross by Groenwald. A member of the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, Groenwald lived up to expectation throughout the season and was among 15 semifinalists for the award in November. It was the second time in two years that Groenwald was a semifinalist for the award, one of several honors that Groenwald would earn multiple times throughout his career. Groenwald was a member of the All-Big East first team for the third year in a row, accomplishing something that not even Chris Wingert, one of his mentors and the 2003 Hermann Trophy winner, accomplished. He was also a first-team Academic All-America selection for a third straight year, a year after he was named men’s soccer’s Academic All-American of the Year.
A total of nine players from schools St. John’s faced in 2005 appeared on the three All-America teams, including a total of four Big East selections. Defenders Greg Dalby from Notre Dame (first team) and Julius James from Connecticut (second team) and forward Sascha Kljestan from Seton Hall joined Groenwald as the league’s honorees.