Big West Announces 2017 Womens Soccer All-Conference Team
2017 Women's Soccer All-Conference Team
UC Irvine dominated the 2017 Big West Women’s Soccer All-Conference individual awards as four of the six recipients are Anteaters. Leading the pack was senior Noel Baham who earned Offensive Player of the Year honors. Senior Kiana Palacios earned Midfielder of the Year accolades while teammate Sydney Carr was named Freshman of the Year. Rounding out the awards for the ’Eaters was coach Scott Juniper who brought home UC Irvine’s third regular season title in 2017 and earned Coach of the Year accolades. CSUN’s Jovani McCaskill and Cal State Fullerton’s Morgan Bertsch were tabbed Co-Goalkeepers of the Year. Sophomore Kaitlin Fregulia of Long Beach State earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades and became the sixth representative from the Beach to claim the honor.
Senior Noel Baham (Redlands, Calif./Santa Clara University) became the second Anteater in Irvine history to be named Offensive Player of the Year – and first since Tanya Taylor in 2010. On the year Baham recorded six goals, a league-high six assists and 18 points, the second most in the conference. The forward notched four points in a single contest at UC Santa Barbara after finding the back of the net and adding two assists – the four points in a single game ties for the second-best in league while the two assists was a season-high for the Big West. The Anteaters posted a 6-1-1 record in games which Baham recorded either a goal or an assist. The senior has been named Big West Offensive Player of the Week twice in her career including an honor in 2017.
Palacios (Lake Forest, Calif./Mission Viejo HS) is the first UC Irvine recipient of Midfielder of the Year honors. The senior posted six goals, a figure that tied for third-best in conference, while adding four assists and 16 points. Palacios also added three game-winning goals, the second most in the Big West, and was key in Irvine’s offense that recorded 27 collective scores. Irvine’s 27 goals are the second-best in league. Palacios received the first Player of the Week honor of her career in 2017 and helped the Anteaters to a 10-5-4 overall mark.
For the first time since 2011, a UC Irvine representative received Freshman of the Year honors as Sydney Carr (Portland, Ore./El Modena HS) earned the distinction. The newcomer notched three goals and five assists, a figure that tied for the third-most in league, for 11 points. The ’Eater scored game-winning goals against San Francisco and UC Santa Barbara as the newcomer helped UCI earn its first regular season title since 2011. Carr started in all but one contest in her first campaign with the Anteaters.
In his 11th season at the helm, Juniper claimed his second Coach of the Year award – and first since 2010. Juniper led the Anteaters to a 10-5-4 overall record en route to the Big West Conference regular season title. He hit a milestone earlier this season, recording his 50th league victory and piloted UC Irvine to double-digit wins for the fourth time since 2007. Juniper is 121-77-25 in 11 years with the Anteaters.
For the first time since the Goalkeeper of the Year award began in 2001, two players are sharing the honor.
McCaskill (San Diego, Calif./Eastlake HS) earned back-to-back Goalkeeper of the Year distinctions and is the third overall Matador to claim the honor. CSUN has brought home the award a total of five times. The senior posted a 1.01 goals-against average while recording an 8-4-7 record between the posts. McCaskill recorded seven shutouts in 2017 to set a new program record for career clean sheets with 31. The 31 shutouts tie for the second-most in Big West history. The senior logged 1778:15 minutes in goal, the second most in league, while her 780:00 minutes in conference action paced the Big West. The veteran goalkeeper helped the Matadors earn the #2 seed in the Big West Tournament.
Bertsch (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) becomes the fifth Titan to claim the Goalkeeper of the Year moniker and second in the last three years. Bertsch topped all Big West keepers with a 0.71 goals-against average and bested the league with 11 wins. The Titan’s .785 save percentage is second-best in conference while the senior allowed just 14 scores all year, the fewest of any squad in the conference. Bertsch allowed one goal or less in 17 of 19 contests and recorded seven clean sheets on the year.
Fregulia (Torrance, Calif./West HS) is the second Long Beach State recipient of Defensive Player of the Year honors. The sophomore started 14 contests in the regular season and helped contribute to LBSU’s league fourth-best 1.11 goals-against average. The sophomore added two goals and two assists for four points and helped the Beach to victory with two game winning goals. Fregulia helped anchor the Beach backline and contributed to nine clean sheets on the year, a figure that tied for the second-most in the Big West.
The complete 2017 All-Big West Women’s Soccer Team can be viewed via the link at the top of the page.