ST. LOUIS – SIUE men's soccer senior goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo has won the 2017 Jack Blake Award, the most prestigious individual honor awarded to an SIUE men's soccer player.
The awards was presented at the annual JBA Banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club Saturday. The Jack Blake Award was established in 1997 by Blake's friend and teammate Tim Tighe, and his wife, Lynn. The award is given annually to the student-athlete who most embodies the qualities that defined Jack.
"We're absolutely honored to have everyone here, all the alumni here to honor Jack Blake and Tim Tighe," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "It just goes to show the tradition here for SIUE soccer."
Dal Santo enjoyed a standout 2016 campaign in goal for the Cougars. He was an All-West Region third team selection by NSCAA and an All-Missouri Valley Conference second team selection. Dal Santo played every minute of every game. In fact his 2,142:23 were the fourth-most minutes played in the NCAA. He finished with a 0.71 goals against average which was 15th best in the NCAA. His .838 save percentage was ninth-best in the nation.
"People are shocked that a current student would get it, but when you look at the criteria for the Jack Blake award, Kyle nailed it," Sanchez said. "He is a great athlete. He is a game-changer. He excels in the classroom and excels in the community. What jack Blake was all about was hard-work and a team-first guy. Kyle is definitely that."
The native of Bolingbrook, Illinois, collected nine shutouts last year and has recorded 20 clean sheets in his career, which is second most all-time at SIUE.
Dal Santo is the 19th recipient of the award, and the third goalkeeper to claim the JBA, joining John Berner (2014) and Nick Frasca (2009).
Also on Saturday, SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt announced the establishement of the Tim Tighe SIUE Soccer Alumni Service and Leadership Award. The inaugural award, meant to honor an outstanding alumnus, was given to David Boyer '92.
David Boyer '92 and Tim Tighe