Nov. 11, 2009
The Big Ten office announced the 2009 All-Big Ten and All-Freshman women’s soccer teams, as well as individual award winners today. Penn State seniors Katie Schoepfer and Alyssa Naeher were tabbed Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, after leading the Nittany Lions to their Big Ten record-tying 12th-consecutive conference championship. PSU newcomer Christine Nairn takes home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors while Erica Walsh earned the nod from her peers to garner Coach of the Year laurels. The selections marked the second Penn State sweep of the postseason honors and the first since the conference divided the award for Player of the Year into separate offensive and defensive accolades in 2004.
Schoepfer becomes the first Nittany Lion to receive Offensive Player of the Year laurels since Tiffany Weimer captured the award in back-to-back seasons from 2004-05. The veteran forward capped off her stellar career in Happy Valley leading the conference in shots (87) and points (30), while completing the regular season rating among the top two in every offensive statistical category and tying for game-winning goals with four. For her efforts, the Waterford, Conn., native was selected first team All-Big Ten for her third-straight season.
Joining Schoepfer as the only two unanimous selections on this year’s All-Conference teams is Freshman of the Year Nairn. The Bowie, Md., native finished her first collegiate regular season with 23 points and seven goals, while also topping the Big Ten leaderboard in assists with nine. Her athletic prowess helped complete PSU’s offensive triple threat that fueled the Nittany to a 12-5-2 overall record and an 8-1-1 conference mark.
Naeher garners her second Defensive Player of the Year laurel after taking home the award as a sophomore in 2007. For the year, the senior goalkeeper boasts an .832 save percentage in 19 games, conceding 16 goals against 79 saves. Her 0.84 GAA is accompanied by six shutouts in 2009 while facing the 10th-toughest schedule in the country. She becomes only the fourth Nittany Lion to earn the defensive accolade since its inception and the first-ever individual to repeat in the category.
Penn State collects its seventh Big Ten Coach of the Year award as Walsh captures her third-consecutive conference title after replacing five-time Coach of the Year winner Paula Wilkins in 2007. The individual award marks the first for the Nittany head general, who now owns three Big Ten crowns while posting at least eight wins in each of her Big Ten campaigns.
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 Jessica Boots, Iowa’s Heather Windsor, Michigan’s Alex Jendrusch, Michigan State’s Megan Brown, Minnesota’s Sara Clancy, Northwestern’s Ali Rubnitz, Ohio State’s Cassie Dickerson, Penn State’s Melissa Hayes, Purdue’s Katie Seeger and Wisconsin’s Ashley Hedges. These eleven student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Outstanding 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.
A complete listing of the 2009 All-Big Ten and All-Freshman teams and individual honors follows:
2009 Women’s Soccer All-Big Ten Teams
|Position||First Team||Second Team|
|Forward||Laura Heyboer, Michigan State||Lauren Hill, Michigan State|
|KATIE SCHOEPFER, Penn State||Katie Bethke, Minnesota|
|Danielle Toney, Penn State||Laurie Nosbusch, Wisconsin|
|Midfield||Cara Freeman, Michigan State||Molly Rouse, Minnesota|
|Ashley Bowyer, Ohio State||Lauren Steuer, Ohio State|
|CHRISTINE NAIRN, Penn State||Alev Kelter, Wisconsin|
|Lauren Montenegro, Purdue|
|Defense||Jennie Clark, Minnesota||Kelly Lawrence, Indiana|
|Cassie Dickerson, Ohio State||Jackie Carron, Michigan|
|Sylvia Forbes, Purdue||Lexi Marton, Penn State|
|Liz Secue, Purdue|
|Goalkeeper||Alyssa Naeher, Penn State||Lauren Robertson, Ohio State|
2009 Women’s Soccer All-Freshman Team*
|Forward||Shayla Mutz, Illinois|
|Tiffany Cameron, Ohio State|
|Vanessa Ibewuike, Purdue|
|Paige Adams, Wisconsin|
|Midfield||CHRISTINE NAIRN, Penn State|
|Alev Kelter, Wisconsin|
|Monica Lam-Feist, Wisconsin|
|Defense||Jade Grimm, Iowa|
|Bri Westlund, Northwestern|
|LEXI MARTON, Penn State|
|Lindsey Johnson, Wisconsin|
|Goalkeeper||Cat Parkhill, Minnesota|
* Additional honorees due to a tie.
Unanimous selection in ALL CAPS
Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Krystin Miller, Jr., Illinois
Jessica Boots, Sr., Indiana
Heather Windsor, Sr., Iowa
Alex Jendrusch, Sr., Michigan
Megan Brown, Sr., Michigan State
Sara Clancy, Sr., Minnesota
Ali Rubnitz, Sr., Northwestern
Cassie Dickerson, Jr., Ohio State
Melissa Hayes, Sr., Penn State
Katie Seeger, Sr., Purdue
Ashley Hedges, Sr., Wisconsin
Offensive Player of the Year: Katie Schoepfer, Penn State
Defensive Players of the Year: Alyssa Naeher, Penn State
Freshman of the Year: Christine Nairn, Penn State
Coach of the Year: Erica Walsh, Penn State