QUEENS, N.Y. – After leading the Red Storm to its best Big East regular season since 2009 with a 5-2-2 record, three St. John’s University players have been recognized by the conference for their efforts.
Harry Cooksley garnered Big East midfielder of the year honors, David Enstrom earned conference defensive player of the year accolades and Jack Shearer secured earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.
Cooksley beame the fifth midfielder in St. John’s history and the first since Pablo Punyed in 2011 to take home the conference’s top honor for that position, while Enstrom was the ninth Red Storm player overall and the first since Joel Gustafsson in 2008 to be named the Big East’s top defensive player. Shearer’s selection to the all-freshman team marks the fourth consecutive year that a St. John’s rookie has been honored by the conference.
Despite missing five games, including the opening two games of Big East action, with injury, Cooksley managed to put together a spectacular season. In 12 appearances, the senior has tallied three goals and five assists, tying for the team lead with 11 points. His five assists are tied for eighth in the conference.
Since returning to the pitch at Butler on Sept. 30, Cooksley has been instrumental in helping the Red Storm succeed in conference play. In his second game back, the London native tallied his first career brace, scoring both of the Red Storm’s goals in a 2-2 draw at Creighton. On the team’s current four-game unbeaten streak, he put forth a two-assist effort against Villanova before adding another helper on the Red Storm’s game-winner against No. 10 Georgetown.
With Enstrom at center back, the Johnnies have solidified a reputation as one of the nation’s top defensive units, ranking first in the Big East and 13th nationally with a 0.62 goals-against average. Anchored by the 6-2 Swede, St. John’s has posted eight shutouts through regular season play, the most by a Red Storm squad since 2013. In nine Big East games, the Red Storm surrendered three goals in non-penalty kick situations.
Shearer did not disappoint in his first season in red and white. Entering the postseason, Shearer ranks third on the team with nine points and has made appearances in all 17 games for the Red Storm, including 13 starts. After picking up his first collegiate points with a pair of assists in the Johnnies’ 2-1 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 12, Shearer registered another multi-point effort two games later against RV/No. 19 Xavier, finding the back of the net twice. The rookie would continue to make his impact felt several more times in BIG EAST play, highlighted by a clever assist on Cooksley’s second goal at Creighton and a textbook finish in front to give the Red Storm a 1-0 win at DePaul.
St. John’s, the No. 3 seed in the Big East Championship, will begin postseason play, welcoming sixth-seeded Creighton to Belson Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m. The winner of will earn a date with No. 2 seed, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Nov. 8.