The Big East has announced their postseason women's soccer awards, and Marquette's coaching staff - head coach Markus Roeders, associate head coach Frank Pelaez, and assistants Ashley Bares & Nick Vorberg - were named the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year. I'm going to presume that this was a easy pick, as Marquette finished the league schedule 9-0-0.
In addition, eight players were named to the all-Big East teams. Forward Maegan Kelly, midfielder Taylor Madigan, and defender Emily Jacobson were all named to the First Team. Goalkeeper Amanda Engel, forward Mady Vicker, and midfielder Mary Luba were named to the Second team, while forward Cara Jacobson and defender Katie Hishmeh earned Third Team honors. Kelly was one of four unanimous choices for the all-conference First Team, along with St. John's Rachel Daly, and Georgetown's Daphne Corboz and Emily Menges.
This brings us to the rest of the individual honors, and comparing them against our predictions.
Offensive Player of the Year: Rachel Daly, St. John's
Goalkeeper of the Year: Alejandria Godinez, DePaul
As far as I'm concerned, those better have been unanimous votes. Based on Godinez NOT being a unanimous choice for all-Big East First Team, I don't think it was, which leads us towards the path of "WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?"
Midfielder of the Year: Daphne Corboz, Georgetown
Ok, here's the thing. Based on Corboz being listed as a midfielder on Georgetown's roster, I have no problem with this choice. Makes perfect sense.
[Stephen A. Smith voice] HOW-EVAH [/Stephen A. Smith voice] in Georgetown's OWN RELEASE on the preseason awards, Corboz is listed as a FORWARD. In the Big East's preseason all-conference team, Corboz is listed as a FORWARD. All I'm asking for is consistency. I picked Sophia Maccagnone to win this award because I figured the league was recognizing Corboz as a forward. I would have picked Corboz had I known we should have been considering her a midfielder.
Newcomer of the Year: Rachel Daly, St. John's
Ok. Look. Yes, Daly had a fantastic season. But she won a grand total of ZERO Rookie of the Week awards, as all 10 of them went to freshmen. I'm guessing that someone with the outlandish point total that Daly assembled should have won a ROW award somewhere along the line if she's eligible for this award, yes?
And speaking of eligibility, Daly is a sophomore. She is technically a newcomer to the Big East as she sat out all of last season "due to NCAA compliance regulations," according to her profile page on the official St. John's website. I would presume that her eligibility was somehow compromised due to being from England. Why is someone who had to burn an entire season for compliance purposes allowed to be considered a newcomer to the league! Why not give the award to Sophia Maccagnone, since Butler wasn't in the Big East last year?
Defensive Player of the Year: Emily Menges, Georgetown
"Man, defense is hard to figure out. Who won the preseason award? Menges? There, settled."
That was my impression of the eight coaches in the league who aren't Markus Roeders or Dave Nolan. Neither man could vote for his own player, so clearly they aren't culpable in the crime of stealing this award from Marquette's Emily Jacobson. I don't mean to get off on a rant here (TM Dennis Miller), but I've seen elections in Tehran that were less rigged than this. There's two reasons this voting drives me straight up a wall.
1) Menges was named Defensive Player of the Week a grand total of ZERO times. Her own teammate and classmate Mary Kroening was named DPOW twice. In addition, Menges was named to the Weekly Honor Roll ZERO times. Kroening was named to it twice, and sophomore defender Sarah Adams was named to it once. By my count, that's at least four weeks, possibly five, where Menges wasn't even the best defender on her own team! How is she the best defender in the league for the whole season?
2) Here's the line in the official Big East release on Menges:
Menges helped the Hoyas to a 7-1-1 league record and a No. 2 seed at The BIG EAST Championship. In all games, Menges and her team gave up only 13 goals in 18 games.
Ok, try this on for size: Emily Jacobson helped the Golden Eagles to a 9-0-0 league record and a No. 1 seed at The BIG EAST Championship. In all games, Jacobson and her team gave up only 16 goals in 19 games, including only three in Big East play.
Or in other words: Georgetown allowed more goals to Marquette alone than Marquette allowed TO THE ENTIRE LEAGUE COMBINED. Want to see some all-league defense? Check out the MU highlights from that Georgetown match. Right at the top is the fourth goal MU scored in the match. Menges wears #3.
Ok, on to the all-conference teams. Here's the full list of the First Team honorees:
All-BIG EAST First Team^
Alex Godinez, DePaul, GK
*Emily Menges, Georgetown, B
Emily Jacobson, Marquette, B
*Daphne Corboz, Georgetown, MF
Taylor Madigan, Marquette, MF
*Rachel Daly, St. John's, F
*Maegan Kelly, Marquette, F
Sophie Maccagnone, Butler, MF
Kylie Nordness, DePaul, B
Kailey Blain, Georgetown, MF
Georgia Kearney-Perry, St. John's, B
Ashley Clarke, Seton Hall, MF
The asterisks are for the four unanimous choices (Menges again? Seriously, people.), and the carrot is because a tie in the balloting required an extra person being added.
What we have here is the Big East radically altering the format that they're using to choose teams in a clear effort to troll me. I made my preseason predictions in this format, and they came out with a team listed by positions. I make my postseason predictions in their positional format, they come back with this array. PICK ONE, GUYS.
In any case, I got nine of my 13 picks correct. I had Georgetown's Kaitlin Brenn and Mary Kroening, Marquette's Mary Luba, and Creighton's Kelsey O'Donnell, and I missed on Nordness, Blain, and SURPRISE, Menges. If anyone would care to explain how Blain (6 goals, 2 assists) makes it on the team over Brenn (8 goals, 6 assists, fifth most points in the league), I am all ears. I don't feel bad about missing on Kroening and O'Donnell as they both play defense and I've already established that this league has no idea about how to judge defense.
We'll wrap up with the all-conference second and third teams:
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Amanda Engel, Marquette, GK
Serina Kashimoto, Butler, B
Alexa St. Martin, Georgetown, B
Mary Luba, Marquette, MF
Rebekah Roller, DePaul, MF
Kaitlin Brenn, Georgetown, F
Catherine Zimmerman, Providence, F
Elise Kotsakis, Butler, F
Elise Wyatt, DePaul, F
Mady Vicker, Marquette, F
Amy Marron, St. John's, F
All-BIG EAST Third Team^
Alyssa Jara, Creighton, MF
Paige Jarsombeck, Creighton, F
Rachel Pitman, DePaul, B
Emma Newins, Georgetown, GK
Cara Jacobson, Marquette, MF
Katie Hishmeh, Marquette, B
Diana Poulin, St. John's, GK
Catherine Chukuka, Seton Hall, D
Jennifer Pettigrew, Seton Hall, GK
Katie Ritter, Seton Hall, F
Taylor Houck, Villanova, B
Katie Martin, Villanova, F
Hayley Wilson, Villanova, MF
Mariah Whitaker, Xavier, MF
Oh, wait, two more things. Katie Martin from Villanova finished tied with Brenn for the fifth most points in the league and had the second most assists in the entire conference. Third team! Jennifer Pettigrew from Seton Hall finished sixth in the Big East in goals-against average and seventh in save percentage for a team that didn't qualify for the conference tournament. One of THREE keepers on the third team! Helpful tip: if you have a tie in the voting that puts three of the 11 keepers that had more than 500 minutes played into the third all-conference team, feel free to just look at the stat sheet and dump anyone that's not top three in goals-against average.