Major #A10WSOC Awards Announced Ahead of Championship Weekend

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Atlantic 10 Conference announced its major women's soccer awards Wednesday in advance of the 2017 Women's Soccer Championship Semifinals, which begin Friday at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium. 

Dayton's Alexis Kiehl was named the A-10 Offensive Player, while Alli Klug of Saint Louis earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Duquesne's Linnea Faccenda earned Midfielder of the Year, and Billiken teammate Olivia Petit was named Rookie of the Year. After completing an unbeaten conference season and earning the top seed in the championship, Paul Royal of La Salle was named A-10 Coach of the Year.

Kiehl, a Senior CLASS Award Top 10 Finalist, has tallied 45 goals in her career (tied for fourth all-time at UD), including an A-10 high 12 this season. The senior led the nation in scoring last season and as a result was selected as a 2016 NSCAA Scholar All-America Second Team member and 2016 NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region First Team selection. Kiehl is also a four-time A-10 First Team selection, a three-time All-Ohio selection, and has been named twice to the A-10 All-Championship Team. The Cincinnati, Ohio native scored five goals and added an assist in Dayton's 2016 A-10 championship run. She was also named to the 2017 preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.

Klug, a sophomore, is the second straight Billiken to earn A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and fourth overall. Klug played a key role in SLU's league-leading 0.49 goals against average that also ranks 12th in the nation. The Webster Groves, Mo., product, also contributed five goals this season, all against A-10 opponents, and notched the game-winners against George Washington and Rhode Island. Her 1,716 minutes this season ranked second on the team among field players. 

Faccenda, a four-year starter and senior captain, put her name in the record books this season, becoming third-all time in Duquesne history with 51 points over her career. She tallied five goals and seven assists this season for the Dukes, including a three-assist performance in a victory against Dayton, which tied a single-game record. The Downingtown, Pa., native was a crucial part of Duquesne's 2015 A-10 Championship run, their first in program history, and was named to the All-Championship team. She is also a two-time All-Conference First Team selection, a 2016 NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region Third-Team selection, and a member of the A-10 All-Rookie team in 2014.

Petit, an Akron, Ohio, product, led SLU in goals (eight) and points (20) this season, tying for fourth on the Billikens' all-time season lists for freshmen in both categories. The rookie tallied a pair of game-winning goals, helping the Billikens to one of their most successful years in program history. Petit's scored four of her eight goals, and three of her four assists, against conference opponents.

In his 15th season at the helm for La Salle, Royal recently became the program’s all-time winningest coach (157). He has led the Explorers to four A-10 regular season titles, including 2017, where they were picked 10th preseason, and four NCAA berths (2011-2014). La Salle won a pair of A-10 Championships in that time (2012, 2013), and Royal has now earned his fourth A-10 Coach of the Year honor.

The league's head coaches voted on the awards and also selected the 11-member First Team and 11-member Second Team All-Conference, as well as the All-Rookie squad. An 11-member All-Academic team was also selected, based on a vote of the women's soccer media relations directors at each of the 14 member institutions.

Joining Kiehl, Klug, Faccenda and Petit on the All-Conference First Team are Duquesne's Katie O'Connor and Casey Aunkst, George Washington's Sofia Pavon, La Salle's Madison Bower, Kristin Haugstad, and Paige McDowell, and SLU goalie, Mary Niehaus. 

The All-Conference Second Team consists of Dayton's Nadia Pestell, Fordham's Brooke Salmon, GW's Miranda Horn and Megan McCormick, La Salle's Maci Bower and Taylor Newhart, Massachusetts' Jenny Hipp, Saint Joseph's Gabrielle Vagnozzi, and Evie Lavelle, Maddie Pokorny, and Courtney Reimer of Saint Louis.

The 11-member Rookie team includes Lauren Bell (DUQ), Louisa Moser (MASON), Amanda Nhek (MASON), Alexis Williams (GW), Amirah Louketis and Jenna Soriano (LAS), Jenny Hipp (UM), Morgan Bower (SJU), Brionna Halverson and Olivia Petit (SLU) and Lyndsey Gutzmer.

The 11-member All-Academic Team includes Nicolette Griesinger (UD), Veronique Daegenais (DUQ), Clara Gastaldi (FOR), Abby Downey and Emily Littell (MASON), Miranda Horn (GW), Lauren Tondl (SLU), Alyssa Seitzer (SLU), Mary Niehaus (SLU), Gretta LaCouture (SBU) and Megan Dell (VCU).

The 2017 Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship continues Friday with the semifinals, held at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va. Top-seeded La Salle takes on No. 4 Duquesne at 2:00 pm, followed by No. 6 VCU and No. 7 Saint Joseph's at 4:30 pm. The winners of those contests will face off in Sunday's Championship finale at Noon, with the A-10 Champion earning the automatic bid to the NCAAs. All three games of this weekend's action will be streamed for free on the Atlantic 10 Network, and are also available on the A-10 mobile app. Visit Championship Central for more information.

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