COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech soccer team announced its team awards Tuesday morning, honoring those players that made irreplacable contributions to the squad during the 2012 season.
The team awards, as voted upon by all rostered players, include an offensive and defensive MVP in addition to the team MVP. Also included are a Newcomer of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, and the Golden Eagle award, which is presented to the player that most embodies the spirit of Tech Athletics.
For the second straight season, senior Kerri Reid captured both the overall team MVP and Golden Eagle awards. In addition to showing great direction and skill on the pitch as a team captain, Reid demonstrated responsibility and leadership off the field as a student and member of the community.
"Kerri epitomizes what it means to be a Golden Eagle," said head coach Daniel Brizard. "She's great in the classroom, great on the field, and great as a leader. I think everybody looks up to her and feels comfortable talking to her, which I think is important. She has the right mindset in everything that she does."
Reid wrapped up a stellar career at Tech, ranking second all-time with 71 career starts. Her 5,439 minutes played were eighth in team history. Reid recorded six goals and seven assists during her Golden Eagle career, accounting for 19 points.
"Kerri thoroughly deserved team MVP," added Brizard. "She's a great person, great leader, and tireless worker. She'll do whatever is asked of her. She's a midfielder, but when Leigh (Heffner) went down with a torn ACL, we needed her on the back line to fill a gap and she did that, no questions asked. She did a really good job back there and was one of the reasons we were still in games towards the end of the season."
Fellow senior Julie Thompson snagged defensive MVP honors for second consecutive year after missing just one start in 17 games played. Despite missing one game, she still finished third on the team in minutes played, with over 1,450 logged over the season. Her 6,177 career minutes rank second in the Tech record books.
"Julie started every year that I've been here," Brizard explained. "She did a good job for us on the back line. She worked hard and provided a tireless effort. Towards the end of the year, she played a few other roles for us. I don't think we were really ever targeted going down her side of the field, which I believe is important, as a coach."
Grabbing the offensive MVP award was junior forward Ellie Iaciofano. After two solid seasons, Iaciofano enjoyed a break-out year for the Golden Eagles, leading the team in goals and points and tying for the team lead in assists while earning all-OVC second-team honors. She netted eight goals on the year and tallied four assists. Her 20 points were the ninth highest in a single season in Tech history, as were her eight goals.
"I think Ellie had a breakout year," Brizard said. "She really came around this past year. She made a commitment last spring and over the summer to get faster and stronger, and she did. She played a great role for us up top, putting the ball into the back of the net. More times than not, she was our lone goal scorer."
A true freshman out of League City, Texas, Jordan Brown took home the Newcomer of the Year award after a sensational rookie campaign. As a goalkeper, Jordan finished the season with 123 saves, the third best single-season total in Tech history and 13th most in all of Division I play.
Brown started every game for the Golden Eagles, playing nearly 1,650 minutes between the pipes while recording three shutouts on the year. She ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference with 6.83 saves per game, which was also the second-highest output in team history.
"I don't think we can say enough about her contributions to the matches last year," Brizard said of Brown. "She kept us in games. Sometimes stats lie a little. She got hammered in a few games last season where it really wasn't her fault."
"We're looking for big things from her going into her sophomore year. I think she's going to the spine of this team and an important leader going forward, and I think the girls recognize that by voting her Newcomer of the Year."
Rounding out the list was sophomore forward Kelsey McGohan, who earned the team's Most Improved award. A native of Loveland, Ohio, McGohan made five starts over 18 games played in 2012, recording the highest shots-on-goal percentage on the team with a 1.000 mark.
"Kelsey came in here as a freshman and we didn't really know where to put her," explained Brizard. "Over the spring and summer, she worked on some things and we finally nailed down a role for her in the fall. She was fantastic at it."
"I think she's a total 180 degree from where she was at as a freshman. She's become impactful in games and on the team. There were a few games this season where the opposing coach came over and told me Kelsey was the best player on the field. I think that means a lot when other coaches recognize that."