Eight Spartans earn Southern Conference honors
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Eight members of UNCG's Southern Conference regular-season champion women's soccer team earned postseason honors from the conference, with six earning All-SoCon honors and two others taking All-Freshman distinction, the league announced Wednesday.
No. 14 UNCG placed a league-high five student-athletes on the All-Southern Conference First Team. Forward Tabitha Padgett, midfielders Jenn Partenheimer and Cat Barnekow, defender Katie Evans and keeper Kelsey Kearney all earned spots on the first team. Freshman Kristen Schmidbauer took a spot on the second team at forward.
The Citadel swept the major awards, with Bob Winch repeating as league coach of the year and Mariana Garcia taking both freshman and player of the year honors. She becomes the second player in as many years to sweep the awards after Padgett did so last year.
Padgett earned first-team honors for the second straight year. The sophomore from Orange Park, Fla., leads the SoCon in points per game (1.32) and goals (10) and is second in total points (25). Her 10 goals, five assists and 25 points are all career highs. She recorded her first career hat trick this season, scoring all three goals and assisting on the other in UNCG's 4-0 win over Davidson on Oct. 3, and was named the SoCon Player of the Week after that performance.
Barnekow took all-conference honors for the second straight season after landing on the second team in 2009, her first year at UNCG. The junior from Santa Rosa, Calif., has scored a career-high 19 points on four goals and 11 assists this season. In addition to leading the SoCon in both categories, Barnekow's 11 assists are tied for eighth in the nation and her 0.58 assists per game are tied for 11th in NCAA Div. I.
Partenheimer is also having a career year for the Spartans. The senior from Apex, N.C., earned first-team honors for the second straight year, turning in 17 points on seven goals and three assists, all career highs. A two-year captain, Partenheimer has started 75 career games, 12th on UNCG's all-time list. She has scored two game-winning goals this year, one of which came in the Spartans' 2-1 win over then-No. 10 Wake Forest on Aug. 23.
Padgett, Barnekow and Partenheimer were also Preseason All-SoCon selections.
Evans, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., earned all-conference honors for the first time in her career. A team captain, Evans has anchored a four-man defense that has featured at least two freshmen starting around her in each game this year. UNCG's defense has allowed just 11 goals on the year and posted 10 shutouts. Evans has appeared in all 84 games of her career, tied for 11th-most in school history, and has two points this year on two assists.
Kearney earned all-conference honors for the third time in her career. A first-team selection in 2008 and a second-team pick in 2009, Kearney continued to rewrite the UNCG record book this season. The junior from Durham, N.C., has posted 10 shutouts and a 0.54 goals against average this season. Already the Spartans' record-holder for career GAA entering this season, Kearney set the career shutouts record this season, as well. Kearney leads the league in GAA this season and is second in shutouts and shutouts per game (0.53).
Schmidbauer has burst onto the scene this season, as she has 22 points on eight goals and six assists, all second on the team. The freshman from Woodbine, Md., has turned it on in the last month, scoring 17 of her points on the season in October. Schmidbauer is one of just three players in the SoCon in the top 10 in the league in points, points per game (1.16), goals, goals per game (0.42), assists and assists per game (0.32).
Kennedy, a freshman from Lakewood, Colo., and Schoening, a freshman from Woodinville, Wash., are part of UNCG's stellar defense, which has allowed a league-low 11 goals on the year and leads the conference with a 0.57 GAA. Kennedy has started all 19 games in the back, posting two points on a pair of assists. Schoening has started 15 contests and has six points on a goal and four assists.
As a whole, the 17-1-1 Spartans are in the midst of the best season in school history. The team is ranked for the first time since 1998 and is currently riding a school-record 14-match winning streak. UNCG is assured of its fewest losses in a season in school history and has the school record of 19 wins, set in 1997, in sight. UNCG went 11-0-0 in league play, winning its fifth straight regular-season title and turning in its fourth undefeated SoCon slate in the last five years.
The Spartans return to action Friday in the semifinal round of the SoCon Championship in Cullowhee, N.C. Top-seeded UNCG will face No. 5 seed Elon at 5 p.m. at the Catamount Athletic Complex.
2010 Women's Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Mariana Garcia, The Citadel, Fr., MF
Coach of the Year – Bob Winch, The Citadel
Freshman of the Year – Mariana Garcia, The Citadel, MF
F Martha Hall, Furman
F Tabitha Padgett, UNCG
F Donna-Kay Henry, Chattanooga
F Sara Wilkinson, Samford
MF Mariana Garcia, The Citadel
MF Cat Barnekow, UNCG
MF Jenn Partenheimer, UNCG
D Katie Evans, UNCG
D Leah Leppert, Samford
D Colette Namour, Samford
GK Kelsey Kearney, UNCG
F Nicole Levermann, The Citadel
F Brittany Hallberg, Elon
F Kristen Schmidbauer, UNCG
MF Sarah Schaidle, College of Charleston
MF Allison Drutchas, Davidson
MF Rachel Shelnutt, Furman
MF Paige Lanter, Samford
D Hannah Gmerek, College of Charleston
D Amanda Flink, Davidson
D Ashley Creavalle, Furman
GK Alyssa Whitehead, Samford
Vanessa Aponte, F, The Citadel
Mariana Garcia, MF, The Citadel
Nicole Levermann, F, The Citadel
Chelsea Stark, F, Elon
Dee Makris, MF, Furman
Catie Moore, D, Furman
Morgan Kennedy, D, UNCG
Kristen Schmidbauer, F, UNCG
Stine Schoening, D, UNCG
Trine Taule, F, Samford
Brittany Gendron, D, Western Carolina
- UNCG -