DURHAM, N.C.—The preseason honors are starting to roll in for Duke University senior defender Sebastien Ibeagha. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year recently was named to the College Soccer News preseason All-America first team and to the TopDrawerSoccer.com preseason’s Best XI first team.
Joining Ibeagha in earning honors from TopDrawerSoccer.com is incoming rookie Brody Huitema on the Best XI Freshman list. Huitema is a top goal scorer from the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy squad and will join the Blue Devils in August.
Ibeagha, a 2012 All-ACC first team selection, anchored the Blue Devils’ backline last year to nine shutouts and a 0.70 goals against average. The nine shutouts were the most since 2009, while the 0.70 goals against average was Duke’s lowest since the 1987 squad allowed a paltry 0.63 goals per game. In addition to his defensive efforts, Ibeagha was an offensive force for the Blue Devils, tallying five goals and two assists for a team-high 12 points.
Huitema, a forward for the Vancouver Whitecaps, tallied 30 goals in 29 games for the US Soccer Development Academy squad. He helped the Whitecaps win the Northwest Division to earn a spot in the USSDA Finals Week where they took sixth of eight teams.
Duke will host a pair of exhibition games against George Washington (Aug. 18) and Old Dominion (Aug. 23) before welcoming Rutgers and Northeastern to the annual John Rennie Nike Invitational Aug. 30-Sept. 1.