Regular Season Champion Saint Joseph’s Takes Four of Five Women’s Soccer Major Awards

By Atlantic 10 Conference
Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference


NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— Women’s soccer regular season champion and championship top seed Saint Joseph’s had four individuals selected for the five major Atlantic 10 Conference Awards, including 2016 A-10 Coach of the Year Jess Mannella. Dakota Mills was named Offensive Player of the Year, Emily Gingrich was selected as the Midfielder of the Year and Gabrielle Vagnozzi was named the Rookie of the Year. Saint Louis’ Kacey Bright claimed the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The awards, along with the All-Conference, All-Rookie teams were announced Monday ahead of the 2016 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championship, which begins Thursday at Rhode Island’s Soccer Complex in Kingston, R.I. The league's head coaches voted on the awards. There were 33 student-athletes honored on the All-Conference and All-Rookie teams. A 12-member All-Academic team was also selected, based on a vote of the women's soccer communications directors at each of the 14 member institutions.

Mannella, in her 15th season, led the Hawks to the best regular season in school history, with a 16-1-2 record and a 9-0-1 A-10 mark. SJU, which was picked fifth in the A-10 Preseason Poll, is ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the NSCAA and is receiving votes in the national Top 25 Poll.

A sophomore forward from East Windsor, N.J., Mills led the Atlantic 10 in points and goals this season, tallying 37 points on 16 goals and five assists. She ranked 14th nationally in points and 10th in the NCAA in goals scored. Mills was also named an All-Conference First-Team forward, and was a two-time A-10 Offensive Player of the Week this season.

Gingrich was also selected as a First-Team All-Conference midfielder and was fourth in points and goals in the Atlantic 10. The senior midfielder from Shillington, Pa., was A-10 Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 24.

Bright, a senior defender from Fenton, Mo., anchored a defense that allowed just six goals all season and pitched 10 shutouts, both conference highs. SLU’s goals against average was a paltry 0.56, leading the A-10. She earned A-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 10, the only non-goalkeeper to win the award this season.

A freshman forward, Vagnozzi led the league and ranked 13th nationally in assists per game with 0.53 a game and nine total. The Collegeville, Pa., native was chosen as the A-10 Rookie of the week on Sept. 26.

The 2016 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championship begins Thursday with four quarterfinal games. The four winners will advance to Friday’s semifinals. The championship final, which will earn the winner a trip to the NCAA Tournament, will be played Sunday at Noon and will air live on American Sports Network (ASN). The quarterfinals and semifinals will be available digitally on the A-10 Network.

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