Big Ten Announces 2018 Women’s Soccer Postseason Honors
Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers each had individual award recipients
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2018 All-Big Ten Women’s Soccer Teams and individual honors Friday, with Big Ten champion Penn State earning three individual accolades, according to a vote of the conference’s 14 head coaches. The Nittany Lions’ Emily Ogle was selected as the Midfielder of the Year, Kaleigh Riehl collected Defender of the Year honors and Erica Dambach was voted Coach of the Year. Minnesota’s April Bockin was named Forward of the Year, while Ohio State’s Devon Kerr was chosen Goalkeeper of the Year, and Rutgers’ Meagan McClelland was the Freshman of the Year.
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, 2017-18 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and 2017-18 Google Cloud/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-District choice, Bockin leads or is tied for the lead in the Big Ten in goals (10), goals per game (0.56), points (25), points per game (1.39), shots (60) and shots per game (3.33) this season, while adding five assists and three game-winning goals, both of which rank among the top 10 in the conference. During Big Ten play, the senior from Eden Prairie, Minn., was also first in the conference in goals (8), goals per game (0.73), points (18), points per game (1.64), shots (43) and shots per game (3.91), while tying for second with three game-winning goals. She is the third Golden Gopher in the past four years to earn the Big Ten Forward of the Year award, after Simone Kolander was selected in 2015 and 2016.
Ogle, who was a Google Cloud/CoSIDA second-team Academic All-America honoree last year and a 2018 Senior CLASS Award candidate, has collected five goals and five assists this season, tying for 10th in the Big Ten in the latter category. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a 2017-18 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Ogle is a key playmaker on a Penn State offense that leads the conference in goals (36), points (109) and shots (275), and ranks second in assists (37). During Big Ten action, the Strongsville, Ohio, senior had four assists, which tied for fourth in conference play. Ogle is the third Penn State student to receive the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year award and first since Raquel Rodriguez in 2014.
As a junior, Riehl has been one of the anchors of the Nittany Lions’ defense this season, starting all 18 games to date for a backline that has allowed just 11 goals (translating to a 0.61 goals-against average) and recorded nine shutouts. Originally from Fairfax Station, Va., she earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017-18. Like Ogle, Riehl is the third Penn State student to garner her conference positional award and first since 2014, with Whitney Church the most recent Nittany Lion named Big Ten Defender of the Year.
In her final season in Columbus, Kerr has ranked among the top five in the conference in all goalkeeping categories, including save percentage (3rd – .821), shutouts (3rd – 7), goals-against average (4th – 0.83), shutouts per game (4th – 0.41), saves (5th – 64) and saves per game (5th – 3.80). A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a 2017 United Soccer Coaches first-team Scholar All-Region choice, Kerr was particularly valuable down the stretch in the 2018 regular season, helping the Buckeyes go 6-1-3 in their final 10 games. The Barrie, Ontario, native is the first Ohio State student chosen as Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year.
McClelland becomes the third consecutive Rutgers student to earn the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award, following Nicole Whitley (2016) and Amirah Ali (2017). Taking over in the Scarlet Knights’ goal this season following the departure of All-American and two-time Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Casey Murphy, McClelland has been a important contributor to Rutgers’ defensive success, tying for the Big Ten lead with eight shutouts (five in conference play), while posting a Big Ten-leading 0.60 goals-against average (0.48 in conference games) and a Big Ten-best .838 save percentage in league contests. Hailing from Kearny, N.J., McClelland also ranks fourth in the nation in minutes played (1,785:17) and 22nd in shutouts.
Dambach was chosen by her peers as the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fourth time, having previously received the award in 2009, 2012 and 2014. She guided Penn State, which is up to No. 16 in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll and No. 13 in the Soccer America rankings, to a 13-5-0 record, including a 9-2-0 mark during the Big Ten slate, highlighted by seven consecutive wins (four by shutout) to close the regular season. Dambach also has produced one of the nation’s top-drawing programs, with the Nittany Lions ranking sixth in the country in attendance this season, averaging 1,727 supporters per game at Jeffrey Field.
Bockin, Ogle, Riehl and Kerr earned spots on the All-Big Ten First Team and were joined by Nebraska’s Sinclaire Miramontez, Northwestern’s Kayla Sharples and Marisa Viggiano, Ohio State’s Izzy Rodriguez, Penn State’s Frankie Tagliaferri and Wisconsin’s Victoria Pickett. The complete All-Big Ten teams, including the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, can be found in the attached PDF file.
The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can also be found in the attached document.
The Big Ten Tournament opens Sunday with four quarterfinal games — Penn State (vs. Michigan), Rutgers (vs. Minnesota) and Wisconsin (vs. Illinois) will play host to quarterfinal contests at 1 p.m. (ET) on BTN Plus, with Ohio State welcoming Nebraska for a 2 p.m. (ET) quarterfinal that will be televised on BTN. The tournament semifinals and championship games will be held Nov. 2 (11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ET) and Nov. 4 (noon ET), respectively, at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., with all three contests on championship weekend televised live on BTN. All Big Ten Tournament games can also be seen on BTN’s digital platform, BTN2Go, and the FOX Sports app.
This year’s Big Ten Tournament champion will earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Follow all the Big Ten Tournament action at bigten.org/wsoc and on Twitter @B1GSoccer.