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UK goalkeeper Callum Irving named first-team All-American

Kentucky goaltender Callum Irving was photographed on Aug. 20, 2015.
Kentucky goaltender Callum Irving was photographed on Aug. 20, 2015. palcala@herald-leader.com

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced that Kentucky’s Callum Irving was the nation’s top goalkeeper in 2015.

The senior was the lone goalkeeper on the coaches’ All-America First Team, becoming the first UK men’s or women’s player named to the coaches’ first team.

Additionally, he is UK’s first two-time NSCAA All-American. He earned third team honors last year.

Barry Rice was voted an All-American between in 2008 and 2009, but he was only honored by the NSCAA in 2009.

“I love this place,” Irving said of his UK career, according to a news release by the school. “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.”

Irving led Kentucky to an undefeated run through the 2015 conference season and the program’s first Conference USA regular-season championship. He only conceded 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).

Irving was previously voted Conference USA’s player of the year and defensive MVP. He also repeated as recipient of the Golden Glove Award, given to the goalkeeper who posts the most shutouts in league play.

Irving posted a 0.66 goals-against average (11th in the nation) in 19 matches in 2015, totaling nine shutouts.