Jack Hurley (Homewood, Ill.) and Daniel Sessler (Brookfield, Ill.) proved to be a perfect 1-2 punch for the Saint Mary’s University men’s soccer team — Hurley did his part putting the ball in the net, and Sessler did his parting keeping balls out.
It was a combination that not only helped earn the Cardinals record their first above .500 overall finish (6-6-5) since 2002, but it also earned the SMU dynamic duo post-season honors, as both Hurley and Sessler were named honorable-mention All-MIAC, the league office announced Tuesday.
Sessler, who has now earned post-season recognition by the MIAC in each of his last two seasons, closed out his collegiate career starting all 10 conference games in 2023, compiling a 1.82 goals-against-average and .809 save percentage, while collecting 76 saves in conference play and notching four shutouts.
Overall, Sessler started 15 of the team’s 17 contests, posting a 1.50 goals-against-average and an .820 save percentage. He totaled 105 saves — second-most among MIAC goalkeepers — and recorded 10 or more saves in a game five times, including a career-high 15-save effort in SMU’s 1-0 upset of then-23rd-ranked Gustavus on Oct. 3.
Hurley, meanwhile, capped off his collegiate career by starting all 10 MIAC contests, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist for five points, while also playing a major role from his midfield position in helping spearhead SMU’s 1.82 GAA in conference play.
Overall, Hurley started all 17 contests in his final year as a Cardinal, scoring four goals and tallying two assists for 10 points — all single-season career-highs. Hurley accounted for seven of SMU’s last eight penalty-kick goals — going 4-for-4 in 2023 and 3-for-4 in 2022. His seven career PK goals put him No. 1 in program history, three more than Eli Szymanski.
St. Olaf’s Victor Gaulman was named MIAC’s Offensive Player of the Week, while Justin Crawmer of Carleton was tabbed the MIAC Defensive Player of the Year. Ryder Tomlinson Sterud of Hamline took home MIAC Rookie of the Year honors, and regular-season champion Carleton head coach Bob Carlson was selected MIAC Coach of the Year.