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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - In preparation for the 2013 Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship, being held at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium from Nov. 7-10, the conference office released its annual awards, including All-Conference and Academic Team Selections, Coach of the Year, as well as individual accolades.
For the third time in five years, Dayton coach Mike Tucker has been named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league's 13 head coaches. Dayton sophomore Ashley Campbell was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Flyer Captains Sarah Senoyuit and Juliana Libertin earned Defensive Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year, respectively. Saint Joseph's freshman Emily Gingrich was recognized as the Rookie of the Year.
The league's head coaches also selected the 11-member First Team and 12-member Second Team All-Conference, as well as the All-Rookie squad. A tie in the voting resulted in co-goalkeepers on the second team.
In addition to the All-Conference Teams, an 11-member All-Academic team was selected, based on a vote of the women's soccer media relations directors at each of the 13 member institutions.
Tucker led his Flyer squad to a 7-1-0 finish for a league-best 11th regular season conference title and will contend for a fourth Championship title in five years. In his 19th season at the helm in Dayton, Tucker has eight A-10 Championship crowns and NCAA appearances. The 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship marks the Flyers 18th straight championship appearance under Tucker.
Campbell, a sophomore standout midfielder from Ontario, Canada, has been an offensive powerhouse for the Flyers. Campbell is currently ranked 19th in the country with 14 goals on the year, including six scores against conference opponents. An All-Rookie and Second Team All-Conference selection in 2012, Campbell is key part of a scoring offense that is ranked 26th in the NCAA in scoring offense (2.31).
Senoyuit, a defender, has anchored a defense for the Flyers that registered eight shutouts and allowed just seven goals in conference play. Leading the Dayton team, Senoyuit and her senior class have amassed a career record of 64-16-4 (.786), sixth-best in the nation. In her final game at Baujan field, the Perkasie, Pa., product scored the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat Saint Louis, 3-2.
Libertin, a senior midfielder from Uniontown Ohio, is another crucial piece to the Flyers success. Libertin currently leads all active NCAA players in assists with 40, is tied for third in the country in assists per game (.72), and is just two assists shy of the season-high record at Dayton. In her four year career, Libertin has played in every game for the Flyers, and has been a part of two A-10 Championships. Libertin is a three-time First-Team All-Conference and three-time All-Academic selection, as well as All-Rookie in 2010.
A forward/midfielder, Gingrich tallied seven goals and two assists for the Hawks, including the game-winner against George Mason. The Shillington, Pa., native garnered two 2013 Rookie of the Week honors and finished the season tied for first in shots against conference opponents (34). The freshman was also named to this year's All-Rookie team and second team All-Conference. The third Rookie of the Year for the Hawks, Gingrich is the first to earn the honor since 2008.
The single-elimination tournament, which features the top eight teams, begins this Thursday, with reigning A-10 Champion and two seed, La Salle, taking on seventh-seeded George Washington at 11:00 a.m. The second quarterfinal at 1:30 pm features third-seeded Saint Louis and sixth-seeded Massachusetts, who earned a bid to the championship with a win in its final game against St. Bonaventure. Finishing atop the league, Dayton earns the number one seed and will face host and eight-seed, VCU, in the 5:00 pm match-up. In the final game of the day, fourth-seeded St. Bonaventure takes on A-10 newcomer and fifth-seeded George Mason. Friday's semifinals games will begin at 5:00 pm and approximately 7:30 pm, while Sunday's Championship finale will begin at 1:00 pm.
Each match of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship is being streamed for free on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network at atlantic10.com. Live stats, photo galleries, and game recaps will also be available on the Women's Soccer Championship Central at www.atlantic10.com. Fans can also follow Championship action on the A-10 Mobile app, available in the iTunes and Android app stores.