Big South Announces Women's Soccer Award Winners

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Charleston Southern junior forward Marky Boyce (Woodbridge, Va.) and Liberty head coach Jessica Hain have been voted the 2009 Big South Conference Women's Soccer Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the League's head coaches, it was announced Wednesday evening at the League's awards ceremony on the campus of Charleston Southern University in Charleston, S.C.  In addition, Radford forward Mary Wiley (Radford, Va.) was voted Freshman of the Year, while VMI's Audrey Falconi (Las Vegas, Nev.) was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Conference's Sports Information Directors.Boyce led the Big South in almost every offensive statistical category in 2009, including points (33), points per game (1.74), goals (13), goals per game (0.68) and tied for first in assists (7).  She led CSU's high-powered offense that landed in the top-15 nationally in scoring offense throughout the year.  Boyce finished the regular season ranked 21st in the country in points per game and 24th in goals per game.  She scored a League-high and school-record seven game-winning goals this season, including three in Big South play.  She also finished third in CSU history for goals and points in a single season.  Boyce received five first-place votes and 12 points in the voting, ahead of Liberty's Silvia Betancourt, was second with two first-place votes and six points.  Boyce is the second player from Charleston Southern to earn Big South Player of the Year honors, joining Carrie Terrill (2001). 

Hain, in her second season as Liberty's head coach, directed a remarkable turnaround in 2009, as the Lady Flames captured their third regular-season title in school history and first since 2003 after being picked 5th in the preseason poll.  Liberty finished the Conference season with a 6-2-1 record and was 9-7-2 overall after going 2-6-1 in Conference and 3-12-2 overall a year ago.  The Lady Flames are the first team in Big South history to finish in first-place after finishing with the League's worst record the previous season.  After starting the 2009 campaign 1-6, Liberty went 8-1-2 in its last 11 games, including a school-record eight-game unbeaten streak.  Hain tallied six first-place votes and 13 points, finishing ahead of Gardner-Webb head coach Kevin Mounce (one first-place vote and eight points).  Hain is Liberty's first Coach of the Year honoree since James Price in 1999. 

Wiley saw action in 17 games with 11 starts, and led the Highlanders in scoring as a freshman with five goals and 11 points.  Her five goals tied for the freshman lead in the Conference.  In Big South games, she finished fourth in goals per game (0.38) and tied for fourth in goals (3).  Her two game-winning goals came in Conference games (Oct. 2 vs. UNC Asheville; Oct. 10 vs. Charleston Southern).  She also netted both goals, including the golden goal, in Radford's 2-1 overtime win over the then first-place Lady Bucaneers.  Wiley received four first-place votes and eight points, ahead of Gardner-Webb goalie Samantha Rupert who had one first-place vote and seven points.  Wiley is Radford's first Freshman of the Year since Nikki Porter took the honor back in 2001. 

Falconi, a captain of the Keydet defense, led VMI to its best-ever defensive season for the third straight year.  She has played every minute this season and has been a key reason why VMI is currently on pace for school records in goals against average (1.18) and save percentage (0.847).  Falconi was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSida Academic All-District III Second-Team for the second time in her career after earning Third-Team honors as a sophomore.                 

Also announced at the awards ceremony were the First- and Second-Team All-Conference selections as well as the All-Freshman Team and the annual All-Academic Team.  The awards ceremony serves as the kickoff for the 2009 Women's Soccer Championship.  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.

2009 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE WOMEN'S SOCCER ALL-CONFERENCE AND AWARD WINNERS

First-Team All-Conference
Karen Blocker, GK, Liberty
Silvia Betancourt, MF, Liberty
Maria Owen, F, Liberty
Marky Boyce, F, Charleston Southern
Sarah Keyser, MF, Gardner-Webb
Caitlin Wesnesky, D, Charleston Southern
Audrey Falconi, D, VMI
Anna Tupy, MF, Coastal Carolina
Dana Gentile, F, Coastal Carolina
Megan Reimer, F, Gardner-Webb
Jackie Cozza, D, Radford
Stevie Lucas, D, Winthrop
Laura Eldridge, F, High Point

Second-Team All-Conference
Lisa Lubke, GK, Radford
Maegen Hellberg, D, Coastal Carolina
Jen Vroman, MF, Charleston Southern
Mary Wiley, F, Radford
Sarah Strand, MF, VMI
Mary Kate Tucker, D, UNC Asheville
Tricia Vensel, MF, Winthrop
Sarah Catenacci, MF, Charleston Southern
Brooke Bull, D, Gardner-Webb
Janay Whittaker, MF, High Point
Elia Lake, D, Liberty
Sarah McPartlan, MF, Coastal Carolina
Chloe McCleary-Small, F, UNC Asheville

All-Freshman Team
Morgann Wood, F, Charleston Southern
Samantha Rupert, GK, Gardner-Webb
Madison Short, MF, Liberty
Mary Wiley, F, Radford
Kacey Hall, MF, VMI
Morgan Thomas, F, Coastal Carolina
Janay Whittaker, MF, High Point
Ariana Espinoza, D, Liberty
Rebecca Hollstegge, MF, Charleston Southern
Kylie Long, MF, Winthrop
Hannah Jeske, MF, UNC Asheville

All-Academic Team
Lindsey Trexler, Charleston Southern
Maegen Hellberg, Coastal Carolina
Megan Tremblay, Gardner-Webb
Laura Eldridge, High Point
Rachel Whisehart, Liberty
Rachel Lamb, Presbyterian College
Jill Boyer, Radford
Veronica Lazar, UNC Asheville
Audrey Falconi, VMI
Rachel Webster, Winthrop

Player of the Year
Marky Boyce, F, Charleston Southern

Freshman of the Year
Mary Wiley, F, Radford

Coach of the Year
Jessica Hain, Liberty

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Audrey Falconi, VMI