The Big East has announced the postseason awards for the 2016 women’s soccer season, and there is a Marquette flavor to all sections of the awards.
First and foremost, senior Morgan Proffitt was named the 2016 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. She’s the third Golden Eagle to win the award and the first since Ally Miller brought home the hardware in 2013. Proffitt anchored a MU defense that posted all four of their shutouts this season during Big East action and held conference foes to less than a goal per 90 minutes. After tallying two goals in the regular season title clinching win over DePaul, Proffitt has a team best five goals on the season, which is also a career high for the Indiana native.
Proffitt was joined in the major award category by the Marquette coaching staff, which was tabbed as the best in the league this season. Head coach Markus Roeders along with assistants Ashley Bares and Nick Vorberg guided Marquette to an 11-6-2 overall record with a 7-2-0 mark in Big East action, giving the Golden Eagles their first Big East regular season title since 2013. It’s the fifth time that Roeders and his assistants has earned this award from the Big East.
There were two Golden Eagles that earned all-Big East honors. Proffitt was a part of the 11 player First Team, which isn’t a surprise given her DPOY award. Joining her amongst the ranks of the best in the conference this season was senior midfielder Liz Bartels, who was named to the Second Team. Bartels tallied three goals and two assists for what’s currently a career low eight points. Still, it’s the Omaha native’s second straight Second Team appearance.
Bartels and Proffitt aren’t the only all-league honorees, though. Two Golden Eagles made their way onto the all-Freshman team, which bodes well for Marquette going forward. Keeper Maddy Henry was a unanimous choice for the rookie team after posting a goals-against average of 1.22 and a save percentage of .755. She was even better in league play, posting her only four shutouts of the season while allowing just nine goals in nine matches. Emily Hess gives Marquette two freshman teamers for the first time since 2000. The wing back from Illinois scored her first collegiate goal in the non-conference schedule and added two assists during the season, including the cross on Eli Beard’s Big East title winning golden goal.
Let’s look at the rest of the individual award winners in the Big East.
Offensive Player of the Year: Abby Reed, DePaul
Here’s where the Big East coaches and I don’t get along. Reed led the Big East in goals and points during the nine matches of league play. Meanwhile, I think Creighton’s Lauren Sullivan should be the OPOY for leading the league in points for the entirety of the 17/18/19 match season. Reed was just tied for second in points, third in goals, and tied for fourth in assists if you look at the whole season.
Midfielder of the Year: Alexa Ben, DePaul
WELP, I forgot that this is a thing when it comes to the postseason awards. Oh well. The league office says that Ben got this because “the junior middie totaled 11 points in conference play, including five goals and one assist. In 16 games played overall, Ben boasts 17 points (7g, 3a).” Sure, why not.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Diana Poulin, St. John’s
Well, it’s the third straight time that Poulin’s won this one, so I can’t really argue with it. She’s been outstanding this season and is essentially the only reason why the Red Storm got into the Big East tournament.
Freshman of the Year: Amanda Carolan, Georgetown
I had no idea who to pick for the rookie award and went with Marquette’s Maddy Henry just because she was the keeper on the co-champs. The league’s coaches were more impressed with Carolan as the top scoring rookie with five goals in league play. She had seven goals overall in the regular season, which was good enough for a tie for 10th most.
All-BIG EAST First Team
Diana Poulin, St. John’s, Sr., GK
Taylor Schissler, DePaul, Sr., D
Marina Paul, Georgetown, Grad., D
Anna Maria Baldursdottir, St. John’s, So., D
Alexa Ben, DePaul, Jr., M
Rachel Corboz, Georgetown, Jr., M
Serina Kashimoto, Butler, Sr., M
Abby Reed, DePaul, Sr., F
Lauren Sullivan, Creighton, Sr., F
Grace Damaska, Georgetown, Sr., F
Morgan Proffitt, Marquette, Sr., M
I’m shocked that Ben and Reed were the only unanimous choices on this squad, because this is almost exactly the same 11 players that I picked. In fact, I had it exactly right as far as the team alignments go. I didn’t have Paul in there, since I had Proffitt as a defender. In her place was Georgetown’s Crystal Thomas, who finished tied with Corboz and Kashimoto for the fourth most goals in the league this year.
Let’s wrap up with the Second Team and the All-Freshman team lists.
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Kristyn Shea, Providence, Sr., GK
Elizabeth Wenger, Georgetown, Jr., D
Shannon McDevitt, Butler, Jr., D
Hannah Wear, Providence, Sr., D
Liz Bartels, Marquette, Sr., M/F
Lucy Edwards, DePaul, Jr., M
Allie Moar, St. John’s, Jr., M
Franny Cerny, DePaul, So., F
Crystal Thomas, Georgetown, Grad., F
Samantha Dewey, Xavier, So., F
Kathryn Hiller, Providence, Grad., M/F
Arielle Schechtman, Georgetown, So., GK
BIG EAST All-Freshman Team
Amanda Carolan, Georgetown, R-Fr., F
Maddy Henry, Marquette, Fr., GK
Kristin Barbour, Villanova, Fr., M
Avery Hay, DePaul, Fr., D
Kyra Cooke, Butler, R-Fr., D
Conner Huggins, Villanova, Fr., D
Taryn Jakubowski, Creighton, Fr., M
Emily Hess, Marquette, Fr., D
Ida DiClemente, Villanova, Fr., F
Hannah Luedtke, Butler, Fr., GK
Marissa Aniolowski, Seton Hall, Fr., F/D