Waltman, Sawatzky Earn Pair Of 2015-16 MASL Major Awards

by Brett Gleason

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma Stars goalkeeper Danny Waltman and Head Coach and General Manager Darren Sawatzky have been named Major Arena Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, the league announced today.

Waltman, 34, tended the net for the Stars in all 20 of the club’s regular season matches, recording over 1,200 minutes and 275 saves while allowing an average of 5.41 goals per game. Waltman finished the season ranked among the top ten keepers in the league in every statistical category.

“Danny was an absolute necessity for our expansion team this year,” Sawatzky said. “There are many very talented goalkeepers in this league, but his value to us was evident. We are very happy for him.”

Waltman racked up a total of three MASL Player of the Week nods during the season, and on Tuesday he was named to the 2015-16 First Team All-MASL roster.

“I am extremely honored and surprised to be named MASL Goalkeeper of the Year,” Waltman said. “A great deal of the credit goes to my teammates for defending at an elite level all season and making me look good. There are so many immensely talented goalkeepers in this league, so earning this award is a tremendous honor.”

Tacoma compiled a 13-7 record and earned a postseason berth in their first full season in the MASL under the direction of Sawatzky. Under his guidance and with the leadership of Waltman, the Stars allowed the fourth fewest opponent goals in the league (109).

“We had a lot of players new to the MASL this year and they all worked extremely hard for me,” Sawatzky said. “When you add the veteran knowledge we had to that mix, it helped us make the playoffs and achieve success on and off the field in our first year. I am thankful for the recognition. Our entire group worked hard to make sure the Stars were recognized.”

Season tickets for the Stars 2016-17 season are available now. To make a deposit, call 1-844-STARS-TIME or visit the Stars online at www.tacomastars.com. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Stars can be found by following the Stars on Twitter (@TacomaStarsSC) or liking the team on Facebook.