USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Dom Dwyer's tireless approach of becoming an elite soccer player has helped him rise to the top of the Big East.
The conference rewarded its top scorer Thursday by naming him the Big East Offensive Player of the Year after he racked up 16 goals and 34 points in his first season as a Bull that's not quite finished.
"It's very pleasing," Dwyer said Wednesday before leaving for New Jersey to accept the award at the Big East Tournament semifinalist banquet.
Dwyer said the award will be bittersweet, however, because the rest of the USF men's soccer team won't be there to chase after a conference tournament championship.
"It will feel nice for a minute, but at the same time I'll think I'd swap my trophy to be there playing in the final four of the Big East," he said.
Dwyer still couldn't help but smile when thinking about his accomplishments in his first season of Division I soccer. He came to USF from Tyler Junior College in Texas, where he scored 37 goals as a sophomore - the most in the country - on the way to becoming the NJCAA National Player of the Year.
Dwyer's game has remained at a high level playing in arguably the toughest conference in Division I soccer. His scoring and willingness to make the team better helped USF (12-3-3, 7-1-2) win the Big East Red Division title. The Bulls currently sit at No. 5 in the NCAA RPI ratings while they wait for tournament seeding to come Monday.
"I'm still hungry to keep scoring goals and it's obviously getting more difficult now that there are more players on me, but that brings other people in to get goals," Dwyer said. "As long as we keep winning."
Dwyer has gained a lot more attention from opponents since the beginning of the season and has continued to score at a pace of 1.89 goals per game. The way he's been working, the future might be even brighter for the Bulls in the postseason and in his senior year to come.
"If I'd sit down and look at how I played at the beginning of the season until now, to me it's a really big difference," said Dwyer, who credited his coaches. "I feel much more of a complete player still with a lot to learn."