Duke's Church, Virginia's Brian Earn Major Awards from Soccer America

Dec. 15, 2011

GREENSBORO – Duke’s Robbie Church was named the 2011 Women’s Coach of the Year by Soccer America on Thursday, and the publication honored Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian as the 2011 Freshman of the Year.

Six student-athletes from Atlantic Coast Conference schools were named to the Soccer America MVP team. ACC Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Anasi of Duke and Offensive Player of the Year Katie Stengel of Wake Forest were first-team selections, along with Florida State forward Tiffany McCarty. Virginia’s Brian, the ACC Freshman of the Year, was joined on the second team by Wake Forest goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and Boston College midfielder Kristen Mewis.

Brian was one of five from the ACC named to the Soccer America All-Freshman team. She was joined on the first team by Florida State midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Duke forward Kelly Cobb. The All-Freshman second team included Wake Forest defender Kim Marshall and Boston College defender Casey Morrison.

Church led Duke to the ACC regular-season championship and the final of the NCAA Division I Tournament with a starting lineup comprised entirely of underclassmen. In his 11th season at Duke, Church led the Blue Devils to an overall record of 22-4-1. The 22 wins were a school record.

The ACC title was the second for Duke and its place in the College Cup final was its first since 1992. Early in the season, the Blue Devils served notice that they would be contenders when they upset defending champion Notre Dame, 3-1. Cobb, recruited out of Alaska, joined five sophomores and five juniors in the regular lineup. Duke won the ACC regular-season title with an 8-1-1 record, becoming only the second ACC team to post multiple ACC regular-season titles other than North Carolina.

Brian helped lead Virginia to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament. The 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year out of Frederica Academy on Saint Simons Island, Ga., Brian had 11 goals and eight assists during her rookie season with the Cavaliers. Seven of her goals came against conference foes, including all three of her game-winning goals.

Brian's best game of the season came in the third round of the NCAA Tournament against ACC rival Virginia Tech when she scored two goals and added an assist on Lauren Alwine's goal with a nifty backheel in the Cavs' 4-0 win. Brian is the third player from an ACC school to be named Soccer America Freshman of the Year in the last three years, joining North Carolina’s Crystal Dunn last season and Boston College’s Victoria DiMartino in 2009.

The postseason honors for the ACC came at the conclusion of a season that saw the conference place a record nine teams in the NCAA Tournament, eight of which reached the “Sweet 16.” A record three ACC teams – Duke, Florida State and Wake Forest – were among the four-team field for the NCAA Women’s College Cup.

2011 Soccer America Honors:

GK Adrianna Franch, Oklahoma State, Jr.

D Natasha Anasi, Duke, Soph.

F Sarah Hagen, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sr.

F Maya Hayes, Penn State, Soph.

F Sydney Leroux, UCLA, Sr.

D Cam Levin, Stanford, Sr.

F Tiffany McCarty, Florida State, Jr.

M Teresa Noyola, Stanford, Sr.

D Lizzy Simonin, Memphis, Sr.

F Katie Stengel, Wake Forest, Soph.

F Lindsay Taylor, Stanford, Sr.

MVPs Second Team

G Aubrey Bledsoe, Wake Forest, Soph.

M Morgan Brian, Virginia, Fr.

M Vanessa DiBernardo, Illinois, Soph.

D Alina Garciamendez, Stanford, Jr.

F Kayla Grimsley, South Carolina, Sr.

F Tishia Jewell, UCF, Jr.

F Nadia Link, Long Beach State, Jr.

M Kristen Mewis, Boston College, Jr.

F Stephanie Ochs, San Diego, Sr.

M Mallory Schaffer, William & Mary, Jr.

M Ingrid Wells, Georgetown, Sr.

All-Freshman First Team

GK Sabrina D’Angelo, South Carolina

M Morgan Brian, Virginia

M Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Florida State

F Kelly Cobb, Duke

D Abby Dahlkemper, UCLA

F Kelsey Haycook, La Salle

M Sam Mewis, UCLA

F Kelley Monogue, Texas A&M

F Rachel Tejada, Illinois State

F Chioma Ubogagu, Stanford

F Lynn Williams, Pepperdine

All-Freshman Second Team

GK Sara Keane, West Virginia

M Jessie Ayers, Colorado College

M Daphne Corboz, Georgetown

F Sofia Huerta, Santa Clara

F Taylor Krebs, Boston University

D Kim Marshall, Wake Forest

D Casey Morrison, Boston College

M Cami Privett, UC Irvine

D Kendall Romine, Stanford

F Taylor Uhl, Minnesota

F Kate Schwindel, West Virginia