IRVINE, Calif. — Sacramento State men's soccer's Benji Kikanovic was named the Big West Conference's Co-Freshman of the Year, the league announced Tuesday. Senior Dominic Scotti and freshman Oscar Govea were also selected for postseason honors.
Kikanovic is the first Hornet to receive Freshman of the Year honors since the team joined the Big West in 2012. He is the first Hornet to receive a freshman or newcomer award since 2005, when Jeff Buddenbohn was named the MPSF's Co-Newcomer of the Year.
An Antelope native, Kikanovic led the Hornets with 14 points this season, scoring five goals and adding four assists. Two of his goals came against CSU Bakersfield, including an overtime game-winner. He added a second overtime game-winner at San Francisco. Two of his four assists came on game-winning goals, as well.
In addition to the Freshman of the Year honor, Kikanovic was also named to the Big West's second team all-Conference and the all-Freshman team.
Dominic Scotti and Oscar Govea were also recognized by the league with postseason honors. Scotti, a senior midfielder, received an Honorable Mention selection while Govea, a freshman midfielder, was selected to the all-Freshman team.
Scotti scored five goals during his senior campaign, tying with Kikanovic for the team lead, though he played in just 10 total games due to injuries. A senior from Granite Bay, Scotti scored four of his five goals in the first five games of the season, including an impressive and critical goal on the road at nationally ranked Portland.
Over the last two seasons, Scotti has scored nine goals in 26 games, most on the team over that time.
Govea joins Kikanovic on the conference's all-Freshman team. A midfielder from Los Banos, California, Govea became an everyday starter from game one for Sacramento State, playing in all 17 of the team's matches while starting 16 of them. He scored one goal and had one assist while averaging over 70 minutes a match.
With both Govea and Kikanovic selected to the all-freshman team, Sacramento State has now had two freshman selections in each of the last three seasons. Last year, Justin Bedig and Tyler Moss were named to the all-freshman squad while Mac Harrington and Christian Webb were selected in 2016.
With three total selections for conference postseason awards, the Hornets have had multiple all-conference selections in each of the last six years since joining the Big West Conference.