Prpa and Cukaj Named to All-BIG EAST Teams

Nov. 3, 2017

Official BIG EAST Release

NEW YORK – The BIG EAST Conference announced its men’s soccer regular awards and all-conference teams on Friday with Marquette University sophomore midfielder Luka Prpa earning second team accolades and defender Manuel Cukaj honored to the all-freshman team.

Prpa, who was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in 2016, put forth a sophomore campaign worthy of All-BIG EAST Second Team distinction. The Wind Lake, Wis., native finished third on the team in points with a goal and five assists and, through 32 career appearances, has 33 career points on 11 goals and 11 assists.

Following his outstanding and productive freshman campaign (10 goals, 6 assists), defenses keyed on Prpa this season, forcing him to distribute more often. Despite the lack of production, he facilitated the offense to the tune of five multi-goal scorers and a pair of MU victories in which the team scored a season-high four goals.

The most recent of those scoring outbursts was a 4-3 win over Creighton in which Prpa assisted on all four Marquette goals, tying a program-record. By a wide margin, Prpa led the Golden Eagles with 39 shots, including 17 shots on goal this season.

Cukaj emerged as one of Marquette’s top defenders in his debut campaign. He willingness and versatility to play wherever head coach Louis Bennett needed him most due to injuries late in the season proved to be a valuable asset. Cukaj split time between center back and right back throughout the season, putting together a solid year despite missing a period of five games due to injury himself.



The Mannheim, Germany, native notched a goal and an assist, totaling 11 shots in 2017. His lone goal came in the win over Creighton on Oct. 25.

Last season, Marquette also placed two on the All-BIG EAST squads with Prpa named Freshman of the Year, while John Pothast earned second team honors.

The young squad of the Golden Eagles finished the regular season with a record of 3-11-2 (3-5-1 BIG EAST) and fell a mere point away from qualifying for the final league tournament spot. MU graduates only four, while returning the team’s top-three scorers in 2018.

Keep up with the Marquette men's soccer program through social media by following on Twitter (@MarquetteSoccer) and Instagram (@MarquetteSoccer) and `liking' on Facebook (/MarquetteSoccer).

BIG EAST Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Brandon Guhl, Butler, So., F
Ricky Lopez-Espin, Creighton, Sr., F
BIG EAST Midfielder of th­e Year
Harry Cooksley, St. John’s, Sr., M
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
David Enstrom, St. John’s, Sr., D
BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year
Eric Dick, Butler, RS-Sr.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Derek Dodson, Georgetown, Fr., F
BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
Butler (Head Coach Paul Snape)
All-BIG EAST First Team
Brandon Guhl, Butler, So., F *
Ricky Lopez-Espin, Creighton, Sr., F *
Mac Steeves, Providence, RS-Sr., F
Harry Cooksley, St. John’s, Sr., M
Christopher Lema, Georgetown, Sr., M
Lewis Suddick, Butler, So., M
Cory Brown, Xavier, Sr., D
David Enstrom, St. John’s, Sr., D
Brendan McDonough, Georgetown, Jr., D
Lucas Stauffer, Creighton, Sr., D
Eric Dick, Butler, RS-Sr., GK
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Derek Dodson, Georgetown, Fr., F
Declan McCabe, Georgetown, Sr., F
Matt Vasquenza, Xavier, Sr., F
Andres Arcila, Seton Hall, Jr., M
Noah Franke, Creighton, Sr., M
Simen Hestnes, Xavier, Jr., M
Luka Prpa, Marquette, So., M
Shane Bradley, Villanova, So., D
Joe Moulden, Butler, Jr., D
Cameron Taylor, Xavier, RS-Jr., D
JT Marcinkowski, Georgetown, Jr., GK
BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Samuel Buzzas, Xavier, RS-Fr., D
Manuel Cukaj, Marquette, Fr., D
Matt DePerro, Providence, RS-Fr., F
Derek Dodson, Georgetown, Fr., F *
Jacob Montes, Georgetown, Fr., M *
Zach Nelson, Xavier, RS-Fr., GK
Sean O’Hearn, Georgetown, Fr., D
Kuba Polat, Creighton, Fr., M *
Theo Quartey, Villanova, Fr., M
Jack Shearer, St. John’s, Fr., F *
Istvan Wilhelms, DePaul, Fr., M

* - denotes unanimous selection


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