Big South Announces 2011 Women's Soccer Annual Award Winners

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Winthrop forward Courtney Durbin (Perrysburg, Ohio) and Radford head coach Ben Sohrabi have been voted the 2011 Big South Conference Women's Soccer Attacking Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the League's head coaches, it was announced this evening by the League office.  In addition, Radford defender Tyler Drake (Palmyra, Va.) was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year, while Winthrop forward Krystyna Freda (Princeton, N.J.) was named Freshman of the Year.  High Point defender Brielle Spencer (Lynchburg, Va.) was voted Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second-straight year by the Conference's sports information directors.

Durbin is ranked in the Big South in almost every offensive statistical category this season, including tied for second-place in goals (10), second in points per game (1.44), and third in assists (six), points (26), goals per game (0.56) and assists per game (0.33).  The senior garnered Big South Attacking Player of the Week honors on Oct. 12 after registering a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in Winthrop's 3-2 overtime victory over Liberty on Oct. 8.  Durbin is ranked second in Conference play in goals (seven), points (18) and points per game (1.80), and tied for third in assists (four) and game-winning goals (two).  She is Winthrop's second Big South Conference Player of the Year honoree.  Durbin received six first-place votes and 14 points, ahead of Campbell's Pirjo Leppikangas (three first-place votes and nine points).

Sohrabi, in his 16th year as Radford's head coach, directed a remarkable season as the Highlanders captured their third regular-season title in school history and the No. 1 seed in the Conference Tournament.  Radford finished the season 13-5-0 overall with an 8-2-0 Conference record, outscoring its opponents 34-14 overall and 16-5 in League play.  The Highlanders recorded 11 shutouts on the season and became the first team in Big South history to win its first six consecutive League contests by shutout.  Sohrabi tallied five first-place votes and 12 points, finishing ahead of Winthrop head coach Spencer Smith (three first-place votes and 11 points).  This is Sohrabi's second Coach of the Year honor, as he earned the award in 2002.

Drake started 16 games for the Highlanders as the central defender and was a key reason why Radford won eight League matches, the most in program and Big South history.  The sophomore, a returning First-Team All-Conference and All-Freshman team honoree, was part of a defensive unit that posted 11 shutouts and allowed just five goals in Conference action.  She helped Radford rank 12th in the nation in shutout percentage (0.611).  Drake received six first-place votes and 13 points in the voting, ahead of High Point goalkeeper Andrea Ritchie, who received four first-place votes and 10 points.

Freda ranked fourth in the NCAA in game-winning goals (seven), eighth in goals per game (.89), eighth in total goals (16), 17th in points per game (1.94) and 20th in total points (35).  The forward also led Winthrop and the Conference in numerous statistical categories, including goals (16), goals per game (0.89), points (35), points per game (1.94), game-winning goals (seven), shots (91) and shots per game (5.06).  Her 16 goals this season are the third-most goals scored by a freshman in Big South history.  Freda was also selected to the Soccer America's National Women's Team of the Week for games played Oct. 24-30.

Spencer has played in 18 games, starting in 16 as a central defender for High Point.  She helped the Panthers post seven shutouts this season with six in Conference play, holding Big South opponents to just six goals total.  The senior is a 4.00 student in Mathematics and Physics, is a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll and is a High Point Millis Scholar-Athlete.

Also announced were the First- and Second-Team All-Conference selections as well as the All-Freshman Team and the annual All-Academic Team.  The awards announcement serves as the kickoff for the 2011 Women's Soccer Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting.  The quarterfinals begin Thursday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., with four games scheduled throughout the day.  The semifinals will be played Friday beginning at 4:30pm, while the title match is slated for Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm ET.

2011 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE WOMEN'S SOCCER AWARD WINNERS

First-Team All-Conference
F:  Courtney Durbin, Sr., Winthrop
F:  Krystyna Freda, Fr., Winthrop
F:  Ashley Clark, Fr. Campbell
F:  Pirjo Leppikangas, Sr., Campbell
MF:  Kelli Joline, Soph., High Point
MF:  Kirsty Meyer, R-Jr., Campbell
MF:  Leilani Halkiotis, Sr., UNC Asheville
MF:  Allie Vandewater, Jr., Winthrop
D:  Tyler Drake, Soph., Radford *
D:  Janay Whittaker, Jr., High Point
D:  Taylor Brown, Jr., Campbell
D:  Casey Bolduc, Sr., Charleston Southern
GK:  Che' Brown, Soph., Radford

Second-Team All-Conference
F:  Silvia Betancourt, Sr., Liberty
F:  Dawn Rollyson, Sr., Gardner-Webb
F:  Julie Ruh'e, Soph., Radford
F:  Toni Lashley, Soph., Charleston Southern
MF:  Becca Hemby, Soph., High Point
MF:  Megan Curan, Fr., Gardner-Webb
MF:  Katie Taber, Sr., High Point
MF:  Sarah Strand, Sr., VMI
D:  Megan Pritts, Soph., Winthrop
D:  Sammy Vercellino, Soph., High Point
D:  Lauren Stell, Jr., Liberty
D:  Alyssa Clark, Soph., Coastal Carolina
GK:  Andrea Ritchie, Sr., High Point

All-Freshman Team
Krystyna Freda, F, Winthrop *
Ashley Clark, F, Campbell *
Maddie Boone, MF, Liberty *
Jacky Kessler, F, High Point
Stephanie Herb, D, Radford
Ashley Herndon, D, Winthrop
Stephanie Hand, D, Charleston Southern
Megan Curan, MF, Gardner-Webb
Kara Nay, MF, Radford
Kaitlyn Eckert, F, UNC Asheville
Gracie Boswell, F, Presbyterian College

All-Academic Team
Taylor Brown, Campbell
Allison Lewis, Charleston Southern
Jessie Benchley, Coastal Carolina
Megan Tremblay, Gardner-Webb
Brielle Spencer, High Point
Karen Blocker, Liberty
Emily Boggus, Presbyterian College
Megan Rhodes, Radford
Hannah Jeske, UNC Asheville
Simone Jimenez, VMI
Rachel Webster, Winthrop

Attacking Player of the Year
Courtney Durbin, F, Sr., Winthrop

Defensive Player of the Year
Tyler Drake, D, Soph., Radford

Freshman of the Year
Krystyna Freda, F, Winthrop

Coach of the Year
Ben Sohrabi, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Brielle Spencer, High Point

* - unanimous selection