It has been a historic season for the Blue Devils, and four of their stars just made history of their own.
The quartet of Peter Stroud, Eliot Hamill, Shakur Mohammed and Kamran Acito have each collected top ACC annual awards, the conference announced Wednesday morning. Stroud won ACC Midfielder of the Year, Hamill was named ACC Goalkeeper of the Year, Mohammed became the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and Acito the ACC Freshman of the Year.
"It’s very exciting that Eliot has won the inaugural Goalkeeper of the Year award," head coach John Kerr said. "He has had a tremendous year and been solid as a rock as the backbone of our defense. Kamran Acito has improved at a rapid rate since arriving here at Duke in August. He’s a top-notch defender and is so comfortable on the ball. Peter Stroud has gone from strength to strength and brought more positive dimensions to his game. To lift his standard to another level this year has been really impressive. Shak Mohammed has been a revelation this year. We encouraged him to become more of a scorer without losing his offensive creativity and he has really embraced that challenge. We are very proud of all four of these Duke standouts."
After finishing its first unbeaten regular season since 1982 ranked No. 3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament, it was likely that the team would receive some recognition. Still, four players out of the six awarded by the conference is a remarkable showing nonetheless.
Hamill's 11 clean sheets, five goals conceded in 15 games and nation-leading 90% save percentage heading into the conference tournament made him the standout story of a stout Blue Devil back line that prominently featured the freshman duo of Axel Gudbjornsson and Acito in the injury-induced absence of junior Lewis McGarvey. The team's defensive efforts made Hamill the inaugural ACC Goalkeeper of the Year and Acito the conference's top freshman, extending a streak that began with Mohammed a season ago.
Stroud, widely considered one of the top players in the country, makes it two consecutive years as the ACC's premier midfielder. The junior captain was the heartbeat of Duke's relentless press and was a valuable offensive outlet, logging five assists across the season.
Mohammed's ACC Offensive Player of the Year distinction marks his second-straight conference award after the sophomore forward finished the regular season with nine goals from 15 starts.
Duke awaits the NCAA selection show Monday evening to find out its seeding and opponent for the NCAA tournament and a shot at College Cup glory for the first time since 1986.
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Andrew Long is a Trinity junior and sports editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.