Jason Wright, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year


Jason Wright, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, led the conference in goals (13), points (31), and game-winners (5).

courtesy of Rutgers Athletics Communications/Ben Solomon

When you have a player like sophomore Jason Wright on your team, good things are bound to happen, and they did for the 2015 Scarlet Knights men’s soccer team. Wright, a unanimous selection as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, led the team to a 12-7-2 record (4-4 in the Big Ten), the most total victories since 2001. Along the way, Wright, who is from Kingston, Jamaica, had 13 goals and five assists, and he ranked  in the top 10 nationally  while leading the Big Ten in goals, points (31), and game-winners (5).

“I’m used to the extra attention from defenders,” says Wright, who opened eyes during his first year of play. “But how I’m dealing with it now is kind of different. I’ve been more creative and more deceptive in my movement.”

Rutgers also posted eight shutouts, the most since 1998, and three of them came at the expense of top teams: the University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, and Northwestern University. Leading the way was red-shirt senior defender Mitch Lurie, who led Rutgers with six assists; senior midfielder Mitchell Taintor, who had five goals and five assists; and junior goalie David Greczek, who was second in the Big Ten in saves. For their efforts, the team reached the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament (losing to top-seed Ohio State, 4–0) and the second round of the NCAA tournament (losing to fourth-seed Akron, 6–1). All told, the Scarlet Knights landed in the Top 25 of the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America and College Soccer News polls. The team was led again by Dan Donigan, who was voted the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

“I’m really excited about this program,” says Wright. “Last year we struggled a lot at times. In the space of a couple of months, we’re totally on the opposite side and we’ve been through a lot as a team, a lot of ups and downs. I’m very pleased to see where we are.”