Women's Soccer - A Season in Review
WILMORE, Ky. - Asbury’s first season with Brooke Lincoln at the helm is officially in the books. The Eagles finished the 2013 season 11-9 claiming the KIAC regular season title and conference championship along the way.
“I could not be more proud of the girls this season,” Licoln said. “Adjusting to a new coach is not an easy task, yet the girls chose to buy into a new system and were rewarded for their hard work.”
The Eagles went 6-0 in regular season conference play and remained perfect in conference play throughout the conference tournament., thus, earning them the an automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament.
“Having the opportunity to play in the National Tournament my first year as a college head coach was an unreal experience,” Lincoln added. “I will never forget my first trip there and the group of girls who worked so hard to get us there”.
Junior Meredith Ury was named the 2013 KIAC player of the year while Lincoln took home Coach of the Year honors.
“I am so proud of Meredith for receiving player of the year. This season was a good one for Meredith but, it didn’t come without adversity. Meredith fought a hamstring injury for much of the year and changed positions mid-way through the season.”
“As for receiving coach of the year, I have told the girls all year long any award or recognition a player/coach receives is a direct reflection of the program. If my girls don’t win games, I don’t even get considered for the honor,” Lincoln reflected. “At the end of the day this award is a direct reflection of them buying in this season and is seen as a team honor.”
Ury wasn’t the only player who received KIAC honors. Jenna Bird was named to the KIAC first team and Kathryn Hale and Victoria Thompson were selected for second team honors.
Freshmen Shanda Painter led the offense for the Eagles, finding the back of the net 16 times including both goals in the conference championship game. Painter also received KIAC player of the week honors three times.
“Shanda has the potential to be a very special player,” Lincoln said of her freshman forward. “She is learning how to play within the system and I am extremely excited for what is ahead for her.”
Junior Meredith Ury and Sophomore Cassie Holland finished behind Painter each scoring five goals on the season. Ury and sophomore Jenna Bird led the Eagles in assists, each recording seven.
“Meredith and Jenna offered us good pace on the outside and were able to get behind a lot of defenses to create numerous dangerous opportunities throughout the season. Both of these players are players that have a bright future and I am excited to have them as a part of this program.”
On the defensive side of things sophomore Lizzie Hoffa found herself between the post most of the season. Hoffa played in 19 matches starting 16 of the 19. Hoffa had 31 saves on the year and recorded a 1.813 goals against average.
“Overall, Lizzie did a good job in the goal this year. She came up with some big saves that kept us in several close games.”
Centerback Katheryn Hale, played the most minutes of any player this season with 1371. “Kat is a good player who I trust in the back. She saved us many times throughout the year. She is a young player who is only going to get better and grow more confident.”
Hale scored the game winner, a penalty kick, against Point Park to give the Eagles the regular season title and the no. 1 seed going into the conference tournament.
“I’ll say it again, I trust Kat,” Lincoln reassured. “I had no doubt she would put the ball into the back of the net and so I went to her when the game was on the line.”
The Eagles will now take a break and regroup for the off season. “There is a lot to come for this program. This season we started eight freshmen and sophomores. These young players are committed to taking Asbury to the next level.”
“They are not satisfied with only making the National Tournament, but want to be able to make a run once we get there. It is my job to bring in game changing players that want the opportunity to play on the national stage and be a part of something special. This program is going to be something special and this season was only the beginning.”
The Eagles will see three seniors graduate: Casey Greer, Andrea Hasik, and Victoria Thompson, but look forward to 2014 with a host of returning underclassmen.