David Lilly Named To 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Team

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by

David Lilly earns a place on the 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Team.

Kansas City – One look at senior David Lilly (Maple Grove, Minn.) and it’s not hard to figure out that he’s a soccer player. The hair, the build, the temperament and quiet confidence – it’s all there. Off the field, Lilly is quiet and reserved. His smile screams “All-American Boy” and serves as an alter ego to his personality on the field.  From the moment he walks out for warmups, the smile fades. The street clothes version of David Lilly disappears and he’s not likely to show up for several hours after the match. Although he’s listed at 5-11, 160 pounds, Lilly carries himself as if he’s 6-3, 200. He’s not the biggest player in the midfield, but he plays like it. Lilly is a gamer who rises to the occasion and runs Gustavus’s system with a border patrol mentality; nothing through unless it goes through him first. He’s tough, light on his feet, and despite the fact that he’s routinely targeted, game-planned against, and battered around, never comes off the field. It’s that toughness, that grit, that bulldog attitude that has made David Lilly one of the premier midfielders in the history of Gustavus men’s soccer.

On Friday, Dec. 12, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America released its 2014 NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Teams. Amongst this year’s honorees was senior captain David Lilly, who garnered a place on the third team.  Later on Jan. 6, 2015, Lilly earned a spot on the D3soccer.com All-America team as a third team recipient.

“Really pleased for David that he received such a prestigious award,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “He had terrific year and this is fully deserved. Dave led the team with his play and drove the lads on with his drive and personality. As a player, he’s so comfortable in possession; always makes the right choices on the ball and reads the game so well. He’s a proper player and a smashing lad. Dave is simply one of the best.”

David Lilly ranks second in Gustavus men's soccer history with 29 assists.

David Lilly ranks second in Gustavus men’s soccer history with 29 assists.

It’s not likely David will offer any more than a slight smile and thank you if congratulated on his All-America honor. It’s even more likely that he’d be the last player on the team to hear the news. It’s that peaceful demeanor that has made Lilly so successful within Mike Middleton’s program. When he stepped onto campus for the first time for training camp in 2011, Middleton was committed to the Maple Grove, Minnesota product playing a leadership role in his midfield. Lilly never became complacent and never lost his spot. As a result, he played in 79-of-80 collegiate games and quietly moved into a second place ranking on Gustavus’s career assists record board. With 29 career dimes (47 points with nine goals), only Larry Shelhamer sits ahead of Lilly on the assists chart with 38 from 1972-1975. David is the first Gustavus player to reach 20 career assists since Peter Eklund did so in 1997.

“Dave has always been one of the hardest workers in practice,” Middleton added about Lilly’s work ethic.  “He always wants the ball, always wants to be in the middle of the action, and is constantly impacting play. That hard work and dedication makes this day and the acclaim garnered so much sweeter.”

David Lilly is the ninth NSCAA All-American from Gustavus.  He follows in the footsteps of former All-Americans Todd Anderson (3rd Team – 1994), Scott Crowell (1st Team – 2000), Adam MacLeod-Roth (2nd Team – 2002), Joe Hartwell (1st Team – 2004), Bobby Kroog (2nd Team – 2003, 3rd Team – 2004, 3rd Team – 2005), Mike Butterworth (3rd Team – 2007), Lucas Thompson (3rd Team – 2012), and Zach Brown (3rd Team – 2013).

Earlier this season, Lilly earned All-Conference marks for the third time in his career, became the Gustavus men’s soccer team’s sixth MIAC Player-of-the-Year, and earned a place on the NSCAA All-Region Team for the third straight season.

To Lilly, the laundry list of individual accolades fall to the wayside of the team’s success. During his four-year tenure, Gustavus has compiled an overall record of 59-13-8 and an MIAC mark of 31-5-5. The Gusties have won two MIAC Championships (2012 and 2013), two MIAC Playoff titles (2012 and 2014), and made it into the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Within the 80 games that David Lilly has been roaming the midfield, Gustavus boasts a goals against average of just 0.56.  It’s hard to score without possession, which Lilly had a lot to do with for four years.

“One great thing about making the All-America list is that once you’ve done it, you’re an All-American for the rest of your life,” Middleton stated. “It’s a wonderful achievement, and a truly special accolade. David Lilly, 2014 MIAC Player of the Year and All-American – that has a nice ring to it. I’m so proud of him for making it. Everyone is the program will be ecstatic today.  The award reflects on all of them of course, and they all think the world of David.”

With fall finals just around the corner and graduation not far behind, the hope is that Lilly learns to channel his bulldog mentality and find a new avenue of life to use his trademark game face in.

Complete NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Men’s Division III All-America Teams

Complete D3soccer.com All-America Team

 

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