MARTIN, Tenn. – Less than a week after the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s soccer team notched its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference season championship, five players were honored at the conference’s annual postseason award banquet.
Morehead State’s Jade Flory was named the 2013 OVC Offensive Player of the Year while Southeast Missouri’s Ashton Aubuchon was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Morehead State’s Angela Black earned Freshman of the Year honors while the Eagles’ Warren Lipka and Eastern Illinois’ Jason Cherry shared Coach of the Year accolades.
UT Martin’s junior goalkeeper Mariah Klenke, freshman Aoife Lennon and senior Hannah Fessenden each earned All-OVC first team honors while junior Alyssa Curtis earned second team accolades. Lennon joined classmate Ellie Myrick as All-Newcomer selections. Amongst the individual accolades the Skyhawks were awarded the 2013 OVC Championship trophy.
A Highland, Ill. native, Klenke has continued to rewrite the UT Martin record book, ranking amongst the career leaders in multiple categories. Klenke’s seven shutouts on the season not only led the league but tied for the program’s single season shutout mark. She currently ranks in the top five in 11 statistical categories while ranking first in career shutouts (15), career victories (30) and single season victories by goalkeeper (12 in 2012). She tallied five or more saves on eight occasions and tallied a 0.96 goals against average this season.
Lennon made an immediate impact for the Skyhawks this fall, earning a pair of OVC honors. The Armagh, Northern Ireland native was the only freshman to earn All-OVC first team honors, also finding a spot on the All-Newcomer squad. Lennon has seen action in all 19 games for the Skyhawks, starting in 18 matches and tallying three goals and one assist on the year. Seeing action in the midfield, Lennon has been a model of consistency whether it be on the attack or defense.
Fessenden’s return to the Skyhawk lineup after a one year hiatus proved to be the move of the summer for head coach Phil McNamara. A New Market, Tenn. native, Fessenden has proved to a defensive presence for a Skyhawk team which has tallied eight shutouts on the year. In conference play, the Skyhawks won seven consecutive matches, while holding their opponent to one goal or less in nine straight matches.
Curtis tallied her second consecutive All-OVC honor after scoring four goals on the year. The Franklin, Tenn. native ranked second on the team with 42 shots and tallied a game winner against Eastern Illinois. She tallied a goal in three consecutive contests against the trio of Tennessee Tech, Belmont and Eastern Illinois.
Myrick wasted little time adjusting to life with the Skyhawks, ranking second on the team in total points. Her three goals and team-high three assists gave her nine points on the season. Myrick tallied eight of her nine points in conference play, leading the team in that category.
UT Martin had the most All-OVC First team selections with three followed by Austin Peay with two picks. Southeast Missouri, Morehead State, Belmont, Eastern Illinois, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky each had one selection. Joining Flory and Aubuchon on the first team were: UT Martin junior goalkeeper Klenke (Highland, Ill.), freshman midfielder Lennon (Armagh, Northern Ireland) and senior defender Fessenden (New Market, Tenn.); Austin Peay senior forward Tatiana Ariza (Bogota, Colombia) and senior defender Natalia Ariza (Bogota, Colombia); Belmont senior forward Katie Proud (Knoxville, Tenn.); Eastern Illinois junior midfielder Meagan Radloff (West Chicago, Ill.); Murray State junior midfielder Julie Mooney (St. Peters, Mo.); and Eastern Kentucky junior defender Paige Larkin (Cerritos, Calif.)
Earning second team honors were: SIUE sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley (St. Charles, Mo.), freshman forward Kayla Delgado (Belleville, Ill.); sophomore midfielder Cassidy Sherman (Algonquin, Ill.), and senior defender Kourtney Price (Oswego, Ill.); Eastern Kentucky senior forward Nikki Donnelly (Cincinnati, Ohio); Southeast Missouri freshman forward Natasha Minor (De Pere, Wis.); Austin Peay senior forward Andy Quiceno (Houston, Texas); Jacksonville State junior midfielder Jackie Rush (Trophy Club, Texas); UT Martin junior midfielder Curtis (Franklin, Tenn.); Belmont junior defender Alison Alcott (Dallas, Texas); and Eastern Illinois redshirt junior Lauren Hoppensteadt (Oswego, Ill.)
Eleven student-athletes make up the 2013 OVC All-Newcomer Team, which consists of freshman, redshirt freshman, transfers or other first-year players. In addition to Flory and Black, All-Newcomer selections include: Southeast Missouri freshman forward Natasha Minor (De Pere, Wis.), junior forward Breana Beine (St. Peters, Mo.) and freshman defender Christina Rohde (St. Louis, Mo.); UT Martin freshman midfielder Aoife Lennon (Armagh, Northern Ireland) and freshman forward Ellie Myrick (Knoxville, Tenn.); SIUE freshman forward Kayla Delgado (Belleville, Ill.); Eastern Kentucky freshman forward Cassie Smith (Ashburn, Va.); Austin Peay freshman forward Gina Fabbro (Coquitlam, British Columbia); and Jacksonville State freshman midfielder Mackenzie Bellows (Calgary, Alberta).
The Skyhawks will return to action on Friday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. in the OVC Tournament to play the winner of tomorrow’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 seed SIUE and No. 5 seed Eastern Illinois. Admission is free to all who attend.