Furman forward Stephanie DeVita was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, and the Paladins, Samford and UNCG put five players each on the league’s all-conference teams. Elon’s Chris Neal
was voted the SoCon Coach of the Year by his peers. The SoCon’s 12 coaches voted on a pair of all-conference teams, an all-freshman team and the three individual awards. They were not allowed to vote for themselves or their own players.
The first team includes 11 players, while a tie at defender resulted a 12-member second team. The all-freshman team consists of 11 players with no consideration for positions. DeVita is the nation’s second-leading scorer with 19 goals on the year. She is fifth nationally with 42 total points and her seven game-winning goals rank third nationally. The Simpsonville, S.C., product was the league’s player of the month for September and the SoCon player of the week on Oct. 2. DeVita is the fourth player in SoCon history to earn both Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season but the third one in the last four seasons. Furman’s Emily Turgeon did it first in 2000, while UNCG’s Tabitha Padgett did so in 2009 and The Citadel’s Mariana Garcia did it in 2010. In addition to the two awards, DeVita also earned spots on the all-conference and all-freshman teams. She earned the maximum number of votes possible for both teams. Joining DeVita on the All-Southern Conference first team are teammates Hannah Stanifer (midfield) and Rose Hull (goalkeeper).
The Paladins also put midfielder India Robinson and defender Ali Simpson on the second team. DeVita and Hull were joined on the all-freshman team by Jamie Alexander. Regular-season champion UNCG also had a quintet of all-conference selections. After redshirting last season with a knee injury, senior defender Cat Barnekow returned this year to earn first-team honors. The Spartans put four on the second team in Lauren Hein (forward), Karin Sendel (midfield), Stephanie Partenheimer (defender) and Jamie Simmons (goalkeeper). Simmons, Katherine Rodriguez and Chesney White earned spots on the all-freshman squad. Samford, which led the league for much of the season and finished just two points back of UNCG in second, had a trio of first-team players in midfielder Michelle Moll and defenders Adrianne Mancino and Sabbath McKiernan-Allen.
Forward Brittany Hoffman and midfielder Trine Taule earned second-team distinction, while Alissa Hansen was selected for the all-freshman team. The Citadel also had a pair of players earn all-conference honors. Garcia earned one of three spots in the midfield on the first team, while Vanessa Aponte was a second-team forward. Teammate Jannel Johnson was an all-freshman selection. Forwards Julia Holz (Appalachian State) and Markie-Lynn Studnicky (Western Carolina) and defender Zoe Van Gorder (Georgia Southern) round out the first team. Midfielder Sarah Schaidle (College of Charleston) and defenders Julie Calhoun (Davidson) and Shannon Foley (Elon) complete the second team. Studnicky, Appalachian State’s Samantha Childress and Georgia Southern’s Nora El-Shami round out the all-freshman squad.
Neal became Elon’s first-ever SoCon Coach of the Year after guiding an injury-ravaged squad to a fifth-place league finish and a spot in the league semifinals for the second time in the last three seasons with an upset of No. 4 seed Appalachian State on Sunday. Neal directed the Phoenix to its fourth straight winning season in league play and eight shutouts on the year, its second-most at the Division I level.
College of Charleston, Elon, Furman and Georgia Southern all advanced to the semifinals of the SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship, to be held Friday in Birmingham, Ala. The final will take place Sunday and will be broadcast on ESPN3, with the winner earning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
2012 Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Stephanie DeVita, Fr., F, Furman
Coach of the Year – Chris Neal, Elon
Freshman of the Year – Stephanie DeVita, F, Furman
F Julia Holz, Appalachian State
F Stephanie DeVita, Furman
F Markie-Lynn Studnicky, Western Carolina
MF Mariana Garcia, The Citadel
MF Hannah Stanifer, Furman
MF Michelle Moll, Samford
D Zoe Van Gorder, Georgia Southern
D Cat Barnekow, UNCG
D Adrianne Mancino, Samford
D Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, Samford
GK Rose Hull, Furman
F Vanessa Aponte, The Citadel
F Lauren Hein, UNCG
F Brittany Hoffman, Samford
MF Sarah Schaidle, College of CharlestonM
F India Robinson, Furman
MF Karin Sendel, UNCG
MF Trine Taule, Samford
D Julie Calhoun, Davidson
D Shannon Foley, Elon
D Ali Simpson, Furman
D Stephanie Partenheimer, UNCG
GK Jamie Simmons, UNCG
Samantha Childress, Appalachian State
Jannel Johnson, The Citadel
Jamie Alexander, Furman
Stephanie DeVita, Furman
Rose Hull, Furman
Nora El-Shami, Georgia Southern
Katherine Rodriguez, UNC
GJamie Simmons, UNCG
Chesney White, UNCG
Alissa Hansen, Samford
Markie-Lynn Studnicky, Western Carolina
ASU MEN SOCCER SEEDED 6TH IN SOCON TOURNAMENT
The Appalachian State University men's soccer team has earned the No.6 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Soccer Championships, which begin Saturday, November 3 at the higher seeds. The Mountaineers (7-7-3, 2-3-2 SoCon) will play either College of Charleston or Furman in the opening round. The Cougars (4-2 in league play) and the Paladins (4-2-1 in the conference) are fighting it out for the No.3 seed.
CofC closes out the regular season tonight at home against Wofford, 7 p.m. The SoCon semifinals (Thursday, November 8) and the championship game (Sunday, November 10) will be played in Cary, N.C. The finals will be televised on ESPN3.
Photo Courtesy: Samantha Childress, ASU Athletics