Release  Bill Potter · @ ·

Northern Kentucky sophomore Macy Hamblin has been named the Horizon League Women’s Soccer Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, while Milwaukee sophomore Cassidy Blanchard earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades in voting of the League’s 10 head coaches.

UIC sophomore Kelly Fritz earned Goalkeeper of the Year accolades for the second consecutive season, while  Detroit’s Claudia Eustaquio collected Freshman of the Year honors. In his debut season with Milwaukee, Troy Fabiano was voted the League’s Coach of the Year by his peers after leading the Panthers to their 15th regular-season title in the last 16 years.

In Northern Kentucky’s first season in the Horizon League, Hamblin collected the most points in voting to earn Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year honors. The sophomore tied for the League lead with 20 points, pacing the conference with eight assists. The Norse will take the No. 3 seed into the Horizon League Tournament after winning a program-record 10 matches.

Blanchard led a resurgent Milwaukee squad, keying a defense that did not allow a goal in six October League matches. Overall, Milwaukee has posted shutouts in nine matches. Blanchard joins Nicole Sperl (2010) and Jamie Forbes (2011) as Panthers to be selected as the League’s top defender.

Fritz became the first player in League history to earn consecutive keeper of the year nods, posting five shutouts in 18 matches. In League play, Fritz turned in three clean sheets, turning in over five saves per match.

Stepping between the posts for Detroit, Eustaquio posted three shutouts in nine League matches. Overall, Eustaquio’s five shutouts on the year tied for third in the conference.

Regular season champions, Milwaukee placed two players on the First Team, with Maria Stephans joining Blanchard. Northern Kentucky, Valparaiso, Oakland and Wright State all placed two players onto the team as well. Hamblin and fellow forward Jessica Frey represented the Norse, while Joan Sieja and Alice Palmer carried the Oakland banner. Valparaiso’s Rita Craven and April Cronin earned First Team selections for the second consecutive seasons. Wright State’s midfield duo of Bryce Hueber and Niki Romero also collected first team honors. UIC’s Fritz was the first-team goalkeeper.

Four more Panthers were voted Second Team All-League, as Anna Smalley, Kelsey Holbert, Callie O’Donnell and Paige Lincicum made it six Milwaukee student-athletes on all-league teams. Cleveland State and UIC placed two student-athletes apiece on the team, with Kaila Sargema and Allie Sieradzki representing the Vikings and Olivia Everin and Madison Pollard the Flames. Detroit’s Alyssa Lotito, Wright State’s Ashley Gogolin and Kyler Lum of Youngstown State rounded out the team.

Eustaquio led the All-Freshman Team and was joined by teammate Molly Kane. Oakland placed two freshmen on the team, led by  Emily Zweng and Maria Zandi. Aaliyah Patten was selected to the squad from Wright State, while Milwaukee’s Kelli Swenson, Northern Kentucky’s Taylor Spaulding, Cleveland State’s Ashley Thiss, UIC’s Naomi Rushe, Youngstown State’s Madison Hughes and Valparaiso’s Kelsey Jahn rounded out the 11.

The Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championship kicks off Monday, Nov. 2, with two first round contests. No. 3 Northern Kentucky hosts No. 6 Cleveland State, while No. 4 Wright State welcomes No. 5 Valparaiso. Both matches will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. On Thursday, Nov. 5, the tournament will move to Engelmann Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the semifinals and championship rounds. The first semifinal will see No. 2 Oakland square off against the highest remaining seed at 5:30 p.m. ET, with No. 1 Milwaukee taking on the lowest remaining seed at 8 p.m. ET. The championship contest will commence at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 7.

All five matches will be carried live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. On site coverage will also be provided across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope and Snapchat by following “@HorizonLeague”.

2015 Horizon League Women’s Soccer Award Winners
Player of the Year: Macy Hamblin, So., F, Northern Kentucky
Offensive Player of the Year: Macy Hamblin, Northern Kentucky
Defensive Player of the Year: Cassidy Blanchard, So., D, Milwaukee
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kelly Fritz, So., GK, UIC
Freshman of the Year: Claudia Eustaquio, GK, Detroit
Coach of the Year: Troy Fabiano, Milwaukee

First Team All-League
Macy Hamblin, So., F, Northern Kentucky                      
Rita Craven, Sr., M, Valparaiso                          
Joan Sieja, Sr., F/M, Oakland                             
Jessica Frey, So., F, Northern Kentucky                          
Bryce Hueber, So, M, Wright State                  
Alice Palmer, Jr., F, Oakland                              
April Cronin, Jr., F, Valparaiso                           
Maria Stephans, Jr., M, Milwaukee                  
Cassidy Blanchard, So., D, Milwaukee                             
Niki Romero, So., M, Wright State
Kelly Fritz, So., GK, UIC

Second Team All-League
Kaila Sargema, Jr., F, Cleveland State                               
Alyssa Lotito, Sr., D, Detroit                               
Anna Smalley, So., M, Milwaukee                    
Kelsey Holbert, Sr., M, Milwaukee                   
Allie Sieradzki, Sr., M, Cleveland State                            
Ashley Gogolin, Sr., M, Wright State                
Olivia Everin, So., F, UIC                     
Kyler Lum, So., M, Youngstown State                              
Madison Pollard, So., D, UIC                              
Callie O’Donnell, Jr., M, Milwaukee
Paige Lincicum, Jr., GK, Milwaukee

All-Freshman Team
Claudia Eustaquio, GK, Detroit                          
Aaliyah Patten, F, Wright State                         
Taylor Spaulding, D, Northern Kentucky                         
Kelli Swenson, D, Milwaukee                            
Ashley Thiss, M, Cleveland State                      
Naomi Rushe, Fr., F, UIC                     
Maria Zandi, Fr., D/M, Oakland                         
Emily Zweng, Fr., GK, Oakland                           
Madison Hughes, M, Youngstown State                          
Kelsey Jahn, M, Valparaiso
Molly Kane, M, Detroit

Tags: All Teams - Women's Soccer · Horizon League - Women's Soccer
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