Jan. 29, 2009
MEMPHIS, TENN. - Soccer Buzz has announced its awards for NCAA Division I women's soccer. Four University of Memphis women's soccer players garnered awards for their play during the 2008 season including sophomore Kelsey Bakker, senior Emiko Schwab, freshman Lizzy Simonin, and sophomore Vendula Strnadova.
Freshman Lizzy Simonin earned two awards including Freshman All-American fourth team and All-Central Region Freshman Team. The 2008 co-C-USA Freshman of the Year is the second Memphis athlete in two years to collect Freshman All-American honors. Memphis sophomore Vendula Strnadova earned the Freshman All-American second-team in 2007.
"It's a great honor for Lizzy (Simonin) to make the All-American team," said women's soccer head coach Brooks Monaghan. "She's the second that we've had in history. Lizzy is the total package and she's definitely well deserving of it. She is the first to practice and the last to leave. Her character is second to none and she is well deserving of this award. I think there will be many more to come. For an athlete like Lizzy, the awards will keep rolling in if she continues to do what she is capable of."
2008 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, Midfielder of the Year and All-NSCAA Central Region First Teamer freshman Vendula Strnadova earned Soccer Buzz All-Central Region first team honors for 2008. In 2007, she earned Soccer Buzz Freshman All-America second team, All-Central Region first team, Central Region Freshman of the Year, and Central Region All-Freshman first team honors.
"It is a huge honor for Vendula to receive first team all-central region honors," said Monaghan. "In our minds she is an All-American, and hopefully that will happen for her in the near future. She is well deserving of all her accolades. She's just such a big part of our program. This is her second year in a row with first team All-Central region honors and hopefully she has many more to come."
All-C-USA second teamer and senior Emiko Schwab earned Soccer Buzz 2008 All-Central Region third team honors. She and the 2008 Lady Tiger seniors logged more wins than any other players in University of Memphis history. This is Schwab's second Soccer Buzz All-Central Region honor. In 2007 she was selected to the All-Central Region second team. She is only the second two-time honoree in Memphis history.
"With Emiko Schwab finishing her career by earning All-Central region in her senior year, it just describes her value to our program throughout her career," said Monaghan. "She was a big time player for us this year and played a huge part in taking this program to the next level."
Sophomore Kelsey Bakker helped the Memphis defense to a 0.95 GAA in 2008. While winning the C-USA Tournament for the second season in a row, she led the Tiger defense who only allowed two goals in post season play.
"Kelsey Bakker is well deserving of this honor," said Monaghan. "She was a big part of the success of our defensive backfield this year and continues to improve. I may be biased, but I believe that she is one of the best defenders out there. Much of the success that we had defensively fell on her shoulders."
The Lady Tigers finished the 2008 season with a 15-5-2 record and made their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history. They tied for the C-USA regular season title and won the C-USA Tournament for the second season in a row.