Conference USA Women's Soccer Awards Announced
Nov. 4, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- North Texas and regular-season champion Colorado College swept the Conference USA specialty awards for the 2013 women¡¯s soccer season. North Texas freshman forward RACHEL HOLDEN was voted the Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year by the 16 league coaches. Teammate KELSEY HODGES, a senior defender and team captain for the Mean Green, was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. Colorado College junior KAELI VANDERSLUIS earned Midfielder of the Year honors. The 2013 All-Conference USA first, second and third teams were also announced.
Colorado College head coach GEOFF BENNETT repeated as the Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to a 13-4-1 overall record and an 8-1-1 mark in conference play. CC won its first outright conference regular-season crown, after sharing the 2012 title with Rice. Bennett is in his 10th season with the Tigers and has compiled a 111-60-26 (.629) record at Colorado College and 91-49-19 career mark entering the C-USA Championship.
Holden finished the C©\USA regular season with 28 points and 12 goals as she helped the Mean Green to a 12-6-1 overall record and 6-3-1 in C-USA. She ranks among the Top 10 freshmen scorers in the nation and among the Top 50 overall. The only two-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, Holden registered a pair of hat tricks on the season against Texas Southern and Oklahoma.
Hodges started 18 games for North Texas this season and ranks second in school history with more than 6,800 career minutes. Despite lining up as sweeper, Hodges ranks second in goals scored in C-USA with six and third with 13 of her 17 points in conference play. She also anchored a defense that logged a 422:52 shutout streak, which ranks second in school history.
Midflelder of the Year Vandersluis leads C-USA with a career-best nine assists on the season and six against conference foes. She started all 19 games for the Tigers and ranked second on the team with 19 total points. Vandersluis was joined on the first-team by her teammate JESSIE AYERS, who earned the 2011 and 2012 Midfielder of the Year honors, as well as senior defender KATIE UYENISHI and sophomore goalkeeper KATE SCHEELE.
Rice junior QUINNY TROUNG was the third midfielder selected to the first team, along with the Owl sophomore forward tandem of LAUREN HUGHES and HOLLY HARGREAVES, who was named to 2012 C-USA Freshman of the Year. Each started all 17 matches for the Owls, which the trio combined for 22 of the team¡¯s 32 goals on the season.
UTEP senior forward AZIA NICHOLSON and defenders CAITLIN HITE of East Carolina and OLIVIA MBALA of Florida Atlantic rounded out the All-Conference USA first team. Nicholson leads the team and ranks sixth in the conference with nine goals, five in C-USA play. Hite is the only other freshman on the first-team, while Mbala anchored a defense that registered six shutouts on the season and four in conference play.
The 19th Annual C-USA Women¡¯s Soccer Championship is scheduled to begin today at Rice¡¯s Holloway Field in Houston, Texas. The 2013 title game will be held Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. CST and will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.
A complete list of the three all-conference team selections, the all-freshman teams and the specialty award winners for 2013 follows:
2013 C-USA WOMEN'S SOCCER AWARDS
Offensive Player of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Midfielder of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Coach of the Year
All-Conference USA First Team
All-Conference USA Second Team
All-Conference USA Third Team
Conference USA All-Freshman Team