Program-high six players earn A-Sun accolades
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After leading FGCU to its first-ever Atlantic Sun title in the program’s four-year history, six women’s soccer players picked up postseason honors on Thursday, highlighted by redshirt junior KC Correllus’ (Merritt Island, Fla./Satellite HS/Florida State) Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors, announced by the league office. The A-Sun All-Conference teams are voted on by the conference head coaches.
“It’s outstanding. I am very proud of them,” said head coach Jim Blankenship, who has led FGCU to a 26-7-7 record in four seasons in the A-Sun. “It caps off what has been a great year for us. I’m pleased that this team has been held to a high standard all year and it’s a great thing to get recognized by the coaches in our conference. It is great that KC got the recognition that she definitely deserves.”
Junior keeper Stephanie Powers (Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS) and junior midfielder Olivia Elias (Coral Springs, Fla./American Heritage-Delray HS) join Correllus on the first team, while redshirt junior defender Kat Hunter (Safety Harbor, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS) and senior forward Lindsay Haw (Palm City, Fla./Martin County HS) picked up second team honors. Freshman forward Jenci Villaverde (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside HS) landed a spot on the All-Freshmen team.
This marks the third time Correllus has earned postseason accolades, as she was named to the All-Freshmen team and an A-Sun first team nod in 2009. Correllus is the first player in Atlantic Sun history to earn both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same year since the defensive award was added in 2007.
Correllus’ honor comes just three days after she earned her first career Defensive Player of the Week award. The native of Merritt Island, Fla., is the center defender in a backline who helped limit conference opponents to just two goals in league play and a program-record 11 shutouts en route to the league title. Correllus posted one goal on the season, converting a penalty kick at UNF.
Picked as a first team goalkeeper, Powers is now a three-time All-Conference keeper as she earned All-Freshmen honors and was a second team selection in 2009. The Seffner, Fla., posted a league-best 0.55 goal against average (GAA) and nine shutouts. Her GAA ranks 12th in the nation and fourth in the A-Sun single-season record book. Powers’ nine shutouts stand in a tie for seventh in the A-Sun single-season records and give her 19 for her career.
After posting a career-high in points, Elias earned her first postseason honor with a first team selection. She tied with Haw for a team-high four goals, including the game-winning goal against Stetson to clinch the A-Sun title. The Coral Springs, Fla., native led the conference in shots per game (3.24) and ranked third on total shots with 55. Elias also dished out two assists while starting every game this season.
Earning her third postseason accolade in four years, Haw closes out her career with an A-Sun second team nod. Named the 2007 Freshman of the Year and a second team selection in 2008, Haw posted the game-winning goals against Mercer (Oct. 1) and Kennesaw State (Oct. 3) that propelled FGCU to the top of A-Sun standings. Haw’s team-high 12 points off four goals and four assists gives her 68 points to hold the program record.
Joining Haw on the second team, classmate Hunter earns her first postseason honor after being named to the All-Freshmen and the second team following the 2007 season. The Safety Harbor, Fla., product garnered a Defensive Player of the Week award after shutting out Belmont (Oct. 15), 2-0, and notching her first penalty kick goal against Lipscomb (Oct. 17). Hunter coupled with Correllus as part of the defensive unit that limited opponents to just nine goals on the season to land second in the A-Sun single-season team record book.
Rounding out the awards, Villaverde tallied three goals and three assists in her first season with the Eagles. Despite missing five conference games due to injury, the first-year player was still able to notch a goal against Belmont and play the last three games of the season. Villaverde joins Haw, Hunter, Correllus, Powers and sophomore Danielle Faller (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabeth Area HS) on the list of current Eagles who have earned A-Sun All-Freshmen honors.
Jacksonville topped all teams with seven All-Conference selections and FGCU followed behind with its six. Jacksonville’s head coach Brian Copham earned Coach of the Year after leading the Dolphins to the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament and UNF’s Carolina Lencina was named Freshman of the Year.
Despite winning the A-Sun regular season, FGCU cannot compete in the conference postseason tournament due to the NCAA reclassifying period. FGCU will be eligible for postseason play in 2011.
Player of the Year:
KC Correllus, FGCU
Defensive Player of the Year:
KC Correllus, FGCU
Coach of the Year:
Brian Copham, Jacksonville
Freshman of the Year:
Carolina Lencina, UNF
Stephanie Powers, FGCU - GK
*KC Correllus, FGCU - D
Devon Dowell, Jacksonville – D
Kacie Hudson, Mercer – D
Liz Fink, Jacksonville – MF
Olivia Elias, FGCU – MF
Tessa Gavilsky, Stetson – MF
Olivia Tucker, Mercer – MF
Lisa Hensley, Jacksonville – F
Carolina Lencina, UNF – F
Lauren Hopfensperger, UNF – F
* Unanimous Choice
Alexa Rooney, Jacksonville – GK
Megan Masch, ETSU – GK
Kat Hunter, FGCU – D
Gretchen Sutch, Belmont – D
Alma Gardarsdottir, Kennesaw State – D
Brittany Vining, Kennesaw State – MF
Jessica Hurtado, Jacksonville – MF
Katie Bitetto, Stetson – MF
Alyssa Mahan, Kennesaw State – F
Sara Elliot, Mercer – F
Lindsay Haw, FGCU – F
*Courtney Conrad, Jacksonville
*Alma Gardarsdottir, Kennesaw State
*Lauren Hopfensberger, UNF
*Carolina Lencina, UNF
Rachel Collins, USC Upstate
Alyssa Welsh, Stetson
Ally Lee, Jacksonville
Pirjo Leppikangas, Campbell
Jenci Villaverde, FGCU
Nicole Berner, Belmont
Casey Barrett, Mercer
* Unanimous Choice