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This is The October Surprise

La Salle Women's Soccer Well Represented on A-10 All-Conference Teams; Niemiec, Royal Receive Major Honors

PHILADELPHIA  - Head coach Paul Royal was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season while junior captain Courtney Niemiec (Philadelphia, Pa./Little Flower) captured the conference's defensive player of the year honor. In addition, five Explorers were represented on the A-10 Women's Soccer All-Conference team and three on the All-Academic team. The A-10 Conference office announced the awards today, in its voting conducted by the league's head coaches.

Royal was named the conference's coach of the year for the second season in a row after remaining unbeaten in the A-10 regular season for two consecutive years. La Salle has not lost a regular season A-10 match since October 29, 2010, marking the fifth-longest regular season conference unbeaten streak in the country. In his 10th season at the helm, Royal has accumulated a 97-85-17 record, reaching the post season five times.

Niemiec, a junior defender from Philadelphia, Pa., was part of a defense that ranked second in conference play with a .53 goals against average and shutout opposing teams eight times, including five conference matches.  One of three Explorers to start every game, Niemiec contributed to La Salle’s offense with three goals—including the game-tying goal with under five minutes to play against conference foe Fordham—and four assists on the season.

Joining Niemiec on the first team is junior forward Renee Washington (Ewing, N.J./The Pennington Prep) and redshirt junior goalkeeper Gabrielle Pakhtigian (North Wales, Pa./North Penn). This is Washington’s second consecutive time being named to the first team, after earning second team recognition as a rookie in 2010. Washington is the Explorer's second-leading point generator, with 18 (six goals, six assists) on the season. Pakhtigian's seven shutouts are good for a three-way tie for second-most in the A-10. Both Washington and Pakhtigian find themselves on the All-Academic team as well.

La Salle is represented on the second team by sophomore forward Kelsey Haycook (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro),  who earned the nod despite having missed the final three games of the season, and redshirt senior defender Jourdan McVicker (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen). Haycook, a first-team and all-rookie nod last season leads the  Explorers with 20 points (eight goals, four assists) on the year, good for seventh in the A-10. McVicker was named an All-Academic selection for the second consecutive season and added a second-team all-conference recognition to boot.

A-10 Women’s Soccer Awards & All-Conference

Coach of the Year – Paul Royal, La Salle
Offensive Player of the Year – Colleen Williams, Dayton
Defensive Player of the Year – Courtney Niemiec, La Salle
Midfielder of the Year – Mo Hawkins, Saint Joseph’s
Rookie of the Year – Sophia Maccagnone, Butler

First Team Forwards
Colleen Williams, Dayton
Moa Mattsson, Massachusetts
Courtney Conrad, VCU
First Team Midfielders
Sophia Maccagnone, Butler
Juliana Libertin, Dayton
Renee Washington, La Salle
Mo Hawkins, Saint Joseph’s
First Team Defenders
Alysha Mallon, Dayton
Courtney Niemiec, La Salle
Shannon Van Riper, St. Bonaventure
Co-First Team Goalkeeper
Gabrielle Pakhtigian, La Salle
Christine Neal, Saint Joseph’s

Second Team Forwards
Ashley Campbell, Dayton
Kelsey Haycook, La Salle
Becca Wann, Richmond
Wendy Acosta, VCU
Second Team Midfielders
Amanda Jones, Charlotte
Alexis Garcia, Dayton
Cristin Granados, VCU
Second Team Defenders
Kelly Mahoney, Butler
Jourdan McVicker, La Salle
Carly Edgcomb, VCU
Sophia Maccagnone, Butler
Maddie Kiebel, Charlotte
Ashley Campbell, Dayton
Nicole Waters, Dayton
Kristi Abbate, George Washington
Ellie Bailes, Rhode Island
Abby Maiello, Saint Bonaventure
Olivia McEachern, Saint Joseph’s
Shauni Kerkhoff, Temple
Erin Lafferty, Temple
Wendy Acosta, VCU
Kelly Mahoney, Butler
Alex Kubrick, Charlotte
Sarah Ann Waugh, Charlotte
Juliana Libertin, Dayton
Colleen Williams, Dayton
Sarah Senoyuti, Dayton
Kathleen Wolff, Duquesne
Jourdan McVicker, La Salle
Gabrielle Pakhtigian, La Salle
Renee Washington, La Salle

Moa Mattsson, Massachusetts
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