INDIANAPOLIS -- Valparaiso junior Rita Craven has been named the Horizon League Women’s Soccer Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, while Detroit senior Haley Burtraw earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades in voting of the League's nine head coaches.
Valparaiso’s Vanesa Abad collected Freshman of the Year honors. UIC, which played its first season in 2014, was represented by Kelly Fritz who won Goalkeeper of the Year honors. For the first time in his career, Valparaiso’s John Marovich was tabbed the League’s Coach of the Year by his peers.
Craven collected the most points in voting to earn Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors. In her junior season, the Frankfort, Ill., native has scored five goals and is tied for the team-high with two assists. Four of Craven’s five goals were of the match-winning variety, matching the program’s single-season record for game-winning goals and tying for the top-mark in the League. She is second on the team with 12 total points as Valpo went 8-0 in the Horizon League this season and matched their program record with 12 wins.
Burtraw became the second Titan (Alexandra Suschek; 2011) to be honored as the League’s best defensive player. The Rochester Hills, Mich., native led a Titan defense that recorded three shutout wins in League play and seven shutouts overall on the season.
Fritz earned the nod as the top goalkeeper in the conference from the League’s nine head coaches. The freshman goalie had a League-best 118 saves on the year, 44 more than the next closest goalie. She averaged 6.94 saves per contest for the season and upped that mark to 8.88 saves per match in conference play.
In her first year with Valparaiso, Abad was one of the top offensive threats on the Crusader roster. She finished second on the game with five goals and third on the team with 11 total points. Two of her five goals on the year were game-winners.
Regular season champions, Valparaiso put two players onto the First Team, as Craven was joined by fellow Crusader April Cronin. Detroit, Milwaukee and Oakland also all had two members on the team with the Titans represented by Burtraw and Alyssa Riley, Oakland by Kyla Kellermann and Alice Palmer and Milwaukee by Krissy Dorre and Morgan LaPlant. Heidi Hartmann was Green Bay’s lone first team pick, while Brittany Tenis was Youngstown State’s First Team selection. UIC’s Fritz was the first-team goalkeeper.
For UDM’s Riley this is the third First Team All-League honor of her career, while this represents Dorre’s second-career First Team nod.
The Second Team had all nine schools represented as only Cleveland State, Wright State and Valparaiso had more than one player on the team. Valpo’s Shelby Oelschlager led the team, while her sophomore teammate Sydney Galvez-Daley also made the team. CSU had Kaila Sargema and Sarah Wood, while Wright State was represented by Ashley Gogolin and Allie Metzler. The rest of the team consisted of Green Bay’s Hannah Kernen, Detroit’s Alyssa Lotito, UIC’s Jasmin Carrera, Oakland’s Joan Sieja, Milwaukee’s Maria Stephans and Youngstown State’s Kathy Baquero.
The 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, this is Metzler’s second career Second Team honor, in addition to being on the First Team in 2013. It is the second career Second Team honor for both Gogolin and Lotito, while it is the second year in a row GB’s Kernen made an All-League team. She was a First Team honoree in 2013.
Abad was joined on the All-Freshman team by Milwaukee’s Cassidy Blanchard and Anna Smalley, Green Bay’s Alex Zeller, UIC’s Jasmin Carrera and Fritz, Youngstown State’s Marisa Martin, Wright State’s Maddie McKinney and Bryce Hueber, Cleveland State’s Katie Bainbridge and Oakland’s Vlad Gurovski.
The Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championship kicks off Monday, Nov. 3, with two first round contests. No. 3 Oakland hosts No. 6 Cleveland State at 7 p.m. ET, followed by No. 4 Green Bay versus No. 5 Youngstown State at 7 p.m. ET. No. 1 Valparaiso will square off against the lowest remaining seed while No. 2 Detroit will meet the highest remaining team in the semifinals, which begin at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 6. The championship contest will commence at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 8. Valparaiso will be the host for the semifinals and finals.
The semifinals and championship will be carried live on the Horizon League Network at HorizonLeague.com.
2014 Horizon League Women’s Soccer Awards
Player of the Year: Rita Craven, Valparaiso (Jr., M)
Offensive Player of the Year: Rita Craven, Valparaiso (Jr., M)
Defensive Player of the Year: Haley Burtraw, Detroit (Sr., D/M)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kelly Fritz, UIC (Fr., GK)
Freshman of the Year: Vanesa Abad, Valparaiso (Fr., F/M)
Coach of the Year: John Marovich, Valparaiso
First Team All-League
Rita Craven, Valparaiso (Jr., M)
Heidi Hartmann, Green Bay (Jr., F)
April Cronin, Valparaiso (So., F)
Alice Palmer, Oakland (So., F)
Alyssa Riley, Detroit (Sr., M)
Krissy Dorre, Milwaukee (Sr., F)
Kyla Kellermann, Oakland (Sr., F)
Morgan LaPlant, Milwaukee (Sr., MF)
Brittany Tenis, Youngstown State (Sr., M)
Haley Burtraw, Detroit (Sr., D/M)
Kelly Fritz, UIC (Fr., GK)
Second Team All-League
Shelby Oelschlager, Valparaiso (So., D)
Hannah Kernen, Green Bay (Sr., M/F)
Ashley Gogolin, Wright State (Jr., M)
Alyssa Lotito, Detroit (Jr., D)
Allie Metzler, Wright State (Sr., D)
Jasmin Carrera, UIC (Fr., F)
Kaila Sargema, Cleveland State (So., F)
Joan Sieja, Oakland (Jr., F/MF)
Maria Stephans, Milwaukee (So., MF)
Kathy Baquero, Youngstown State (So., MF)
Sarah Wood, Cleveland State (Jr., GK)
Sydney Galvez-Daley, Valparaiso (So, GK)
Vanesa Abad, Valparaiso (F/M)
Cassidy Blanchard, Milwaukee (D)
Alex Zeller, Green Bay (F)
Jasmin Carrera, UIC (F)
Marisa Martin, Youngstown State (D/M)
Maddie McKinney, Wright State (D)
Katie Bainbridge, Cleveland State (F)
Vlad Gurovski, Oakland (MF)
Anna Smalley, Milwaukee (MF)
Bryce Hueber, Wright State (M)
Kelly Fritz, UIC (GK)