LEXINGTON, Ky. – Not there was ever a doubt, but the National Soccer Coaches Association of America confirmed on Friday, Dec. 11 that Kentucky’s Callum Irving (pictured) was the nation’s top goalkeeper in 2015.
The senior was the lone goalkeeper on the All-America First Team, becoming the first-ever men’s or women’s Wildcat to be named to the NSCAA first team. Additionally, he is UK’s first-ever two-time NSCAA All-American, as he earned third team honors last year. Barry Rice was a multiple-times All-American between 2008-09, but was only honored by the NSCAA in 2009. Irving led Kentucky to an undefeated run through the 2015 conference season, earning Kentucky’s first-ever Conference USA Championship. And perhaps more impressively, he did so while conceding just one goal in eight league matches. He finished his UK career with the program’s all-time records in shutouts (27) and goals-against average (minimum 2,500 minutes – 0.86). “I love this place,” Irving said of his UK career. “I came in as a freshman and it didn't quite go exactly as I had planned. Everyone comes in with a thought of how they want it to go, and it went the exact opposite of that. The coaching staff had a lot of faith in me still, as well as my teammates.
“I kind of found my place here and found my home. Over the past three years, I can see where we built it from and see that I had an impact on it. I just feel really lucky to be here the past four years. I have enjoyed my time, and I think I will be following UK men’s soccer forever. It is my family now.” For the second time in as many seasons, Irving garnered three C-USA men's soccer specialty awards as he was voted the Conference USA Player of the Year, the Conference USA Defensive MVP and a First-Team All-C-USA selection -- all accolades he was bestowed a year ago.
He also repeated as recipient of the Golden Glove Award, given to the goalkeeper who posts the most shutouts in C-USA play. Irving posted a 0.66 goals-against average (11th, NCAA) in 19 matches in 2015, totaling nine shutouts. Seven of the clean sheets came against C-USA opponents as he notched a 0.12 goals-against average, allowing just one goal in eight conference matches (773:45 minutes). Irving was named All-America by the NSCAA last season. Irving was also named a NSCAA Scholar All-American last season, and actually improved his cumulative GPA this year.
UK Athletics Photo