Nov. 1, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference announced its 2011 women's soccer All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Tuesday, with conference runner-up Illinois collecting three of the six individual honors. The Fighting Illini's Vanessa DiBernardo was named Midfielder of the Year, Jenna Carosio took home Defender of the Year honors, and Janet Rayfield earned Coach of the Year accolades. Penn State's Maya Hayes was named Forward of the Year, while Wisconsin's Michele Dalton earned Goalkeeper of the Year honors. Minnesota's Taylor Uhl took home the Freshman of the Year award.
Hayes earned Forward of the Year accolades after leading the nation in points (58) and goals (25) this season, averaging 1.09 goals per game in conference play. Hayes also led the conference with six assists and five game-winning scores.
DiBernardo reeled in Midfielder of the Year honors after leading the Fighting Illini in points (35) and goals (15) this season. She also recorded seven game-winning goals, including three in conference play
Carosio earned Defender of the Year laurels after leading a Fighting Illini defensive corps that allowed just nine goals in 11 conference matches this season. The defender also helped Illinois to eight shutouts, including five consecutive clean sheets during Big Ten play.
Dalton took home Goalkeeper of the Year honors after leading the conference in save percentage (.871) this season. The senior also ranked second in goals-against average, save percentage, saves and saves-per game in conference play.
Uhl earned top billing among freshmen after finishing in the conference's top 10 in seven statistical categories, leading Minnesota in points (30) and goals (13). She also notched four game-winning goals for the Golden Gophers. Uhl is the first Minnesota player to earn the award since Laurie Seidl took home the honors in 1997.
Rayfield led Illinois to a second-place conference finish, compiling a 14-4-1 overall record and an 8-2-1 mark in conference play en route to her first Big Ten Coach of the Year honor. She helped the Fighting Illini to a final regular-season ranking of No. 20 and an RPI rating of No. 32, guiding Illinois to a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Hayes, Carioso, DiBernardo and Dalton earned spots on the All-Big Ten first team and were joined by Michigan State's Laura Heyboer and Annie Steinlage, Nebraska's Morgan Marlborough, Ohio State's Danielle Scoliere and Penn State's Lexi Marton, Christine Nairn and Ali Schaefer. The complete All-Big Ten teams, including the All-Freshman Team, can be found at the attachment above.
The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found at the attachment above.