Conference USA Announces Women's Soccer All-Conference Awards
Nov. 5, 2002
CHICAGO, ILL. - Conference USA announced its 2002 all-league teams and postseason award winners at the annual pre-tournament banquet Tuesday evening in Charlotte. The C-USA Tournament will be held Wednesday-Saturday at TransAmerica Field on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Regular season champion Charlotte (15-0-2), the only undefeated team in women's college soccer, headlined the individual winners, taking home three of the top four individual awards.
Forward COURTNEY CRANDELL became the first freshman in league history to win Offensive Player of the Year honors, in addition to Freshman of the Year. Crandell has set school and conference records with 20 goals in her collegiate debut season. She leads C-USA with seven game-winning shots and ranks third in the league in shots with 61. This marks the third time in the last four years that a Charlotte player has won Offensive Player of the Year honors.
After leading the 49ers to their first outright regular season championship, head coach NEIL ROBERTS was named Coach of the Year. In his fourth season at helm of the Charlotte program, he has led the Niners to a school-record-tying 15 victories this fall. Just the second team in league history to complete a regular season unbeaten, Charlotte has outscored its opponents 52-21 and has recorded nine of its 15 wins by two goals or more.
Saint Louis goalkeeper MEGHANN BURKE is the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. Burke ranks 13th in the nation with a 0.73 goals against average and has set a school record with 12 shutouts. Burke's 13 victories in net this season are just one shy of the school record of 14, set in 1999. Conference USA's all-time leader with 38 shutouts, this is the second time that Burke has earned the league's Defensive Player of the Year honor (2000) and she closes out her career earning all-conference honors all four years at SLU.
Crandell and Burke were joined on the First Team All-Conference USA by forwards KATE GORDON (Marquette) and JAMIE PERRY (Saint Louis), midfielders MIKEL CASEY (Charlotte), AMANDA DUFFY (East Carolina), JENNY KEHL (Saint Louis) and TIA OPLIGER (South Florida), and defenders ANNE DALECKY (Marquette), HEATHER HERWEH (Cincinnati) and KIM MOORE (Charlotte).
Charlotte and Saint Louis led the way with three first team selections, followed by Marquette with two and Cincinnati, East Carolina and South Florida with one each.
Thursday's first round matches feature seventh-seeded South Florida (8-7-2, 4-4-2) against second-seeded Cincinnati (13-3-3, 6-1-3) at Noon (EST) and sixth-seeded Houston (8-7-3, 4-3-3) against third-seeded East Carolina (10-5-4, 5-2-3) at 2:30 p.m. in afternoon action. The evening session opens with fifth-seeded Marquette (11-6-3, 5-3-2) taking on fourth-seeded Saint Louis (13-5-1, 6-3-1) at 5:00 p.m. followed by eight-seeded Memphis (9-9-1, 5-5-0) battling host Charlotte (15-0-2, 8-0-2) at 7:30 p.m. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The championship match on Saturday starts at 2:00 p.m. and will be televised by affiliates of the Conference USA Television Network.