Penn State Women's Soccer
Before adding a third College Cup appearance to their resume in 2005, the Lady Lions continued their domination of Big Ten foes by winning their eighth-consecutive league crown and finished their season undefeated. Head coach Paula Wilkins, who was named the 2005 NSCAA National Coach of the Year and is a three-time reigning Big Ten honoree, led her squad to a 23-0-2 record and a final national ranking of No. 2.
In recent years, the team was led by three-time first-team All-American Tiffany Weimer, who set new Big Ten standards with 32 goals in her senior season (2005), including a streak of 17 games with a goal. For the second year in a row, she was a finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy after finishing as the runner-up in 2004. Penn State is the only school that had a finalist for the award each of the past five years, with Christie Welsh, now a member of the U.S. National Team, taking home the honor in 2001 and becoming the first Big Ten women's soccer player to garnish the award.
Through their eight-year championship span, Penn State has placed 14 different athletes into 28 first-team positions; almost triple the number of Illinois, the next closest in the era. Eleven players have also earned Big Ten individual honors. Welsh was a three-time Player of the Year selection (1999-2000-01) and Johanna Lohman picked up the accolade in 2003. When the award was split to honor both offensive and defensive players in 2004, it only added to the Lady Lions' pace, as Weimer earned two offensive awards (2004-05) and Natalie Jacobs (2004) and Lindsay Bach (2005) each picked up a defensive honor. In addition, it was Weimer (2002) and Ali Kreiger (2003) that capped off an impressive Penn State run of five out of six Freshman of the Year honorees during the era.
From Kelly Convey in 1998 to a trio who earned the honor in 2005, eight Lady Lions have earned a combined 16 first-team All-America honors. Led by three-time honorees Emily Oleksiuk (1999-00-01), Welsh (1999-00-01), Joanna Lohman (2001-02-03) and Weimer (2003-04-05), Penn State is among the national leaders for individual honors.
In addition to their success on the field, the Lady Lions also dominated the classroom, placing an astounding 109 athletes on the Academic All-Big Ten team, including seven Academic All-Americans during the eight-year span.