Big Ten Announces Women's Soccer All-Big Ten Teams and Individual Honors
Nov. 5, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big Ten office announced the 2008 All-Big Ten and All-Freshman women's soccer teams, as well as individual award winners today. Michigan State, the No. 4 seed in the 2008 Tournament, claimed two of the four individual honors as Laura Heyboer was named Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year. Kelsey Hood, of No. 2 seed Minnesota, takes home Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year accolades while her coach Mikki Denney Wright was named conference Coach of the Year.
Heyboer becomes the first freshman in conference history to receive Offensive Player of the Year laurels, since the award's inception in 2004, and is Michigan State's first ever Freshman of the Year honoree. Penn State's Christie Welsh was named Player and Freshman of Year in 1999. The Hudsonville, Mich., native finished her first collegiate regular season with 47 points and 19 goals which tops the Big Ten in all games. She has helped the Spartans to a 13-5-2 overall record and a 5-4-1 conference mark generating an impressive turnaround from last year's 7-10-2 (1-8-1) grade.
Minnesota garners its first ever Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and second Player of the Year since 1997 (Jennifer McElmury) in Kelsey Hood. The senior has guided the Golden Gophers to a share of the Big Ten Championship with Penn State, earning that distinction for the first time since 1997. The backline of Minnesota has allowed only seven goals all season with a combined record of 18-2-0, best in the Big Ten.
Gopher general Wright stands as the first Big Ten Coach of the Year for Minnesota since 1997 (Sue Montagne). She has coached five Big Ten Players of the Week this season, including four on the defensive end. Minnesota's No. 2 conference tournament seed is up four from 2007. The Gophers own a goal differential of +27 this season which ranks second in the Big Ten.
The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for women's soccer are Illinois' Krystin Miller, Indiana's Kirsta Kellin, Iowa's Kelsey Shaw, Michigan's Kristin Thomas, Michigan State's Kristi Timar, Minnesota's Lindsey Dare, Northwestern's Amanda Hoffman, Ohio State's Lauren Beachy, Penn State's Zoe Bouchelle, Purdue's Alexis Tryba and Wisconsin's Darcy Riley. These eleven student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.