INDIANAPOLIS – Northern Kentucky junior forward Macy Hamblin has been named the Horizon League Women’s Soccer Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive year, while Detroit Mercy’s senior Rachel DeLuca earned Defensive Player of the Year, as voted upon by the League’s 10 head coaches.
Hamblin helped the Norse earn a top three seed after regular season play for the second-straight year, and enters the Horizon League tournament with eight goals and 23 points, both of which are tops among conference leaders.
DeLuca helped lead Detroit Mercy to a first round bye after starting in all 18 games of the regular season. The defensive midfielder also chipped in with three goals and three assists for the Titans.
Detroit Mercy’s Manzo was selected as the Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year, and defender McKeala Schmelzer from Milwaukee collected Freshman of the Year honors. For the second-straight season Troy Fabiano of Milwaukee was voted the League’s Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to their 16th regular season title in the last 17 years.
Manzo collected 74 saves to go along with four shutouts. The goalkeeper started in all matches and played a total of 1590 minutes. First year Schmeltzer recorded 26 shots throughout the regular season, resulting in three goals for Milwaukee.
Northern Kentucky’s Jessica Frey joins Women’s Soccer Player of the Year Macy Hamblin for First Team honors. Both top seeds, the regular season champion Panthers and the Titans, each placed three players on the First Team. Milwaukee’s Callie O’Donnell, Anna Smalley, and Maria Stephans who led the League in assists, each received First Team recognition, while Detroit Mercy’s DeLuca was joined by senior Anna Mindling and Manzo who claimed First-Team goalkeeper. Oakland, Valparaiso and Wright State each landed a player onto the team as well. Alice Palmer represented the Golden Grizzlies, as the Crusaders’ leading scorer April Cronin earned a spot on the team, while the Raiders’ sophomore Aaliyah Patten finalized the roster with her debut First Team All-League appearance.
Wright State placed two players on Second Team All-League, as Niki Romero and Second Team goalkeeper Katie Ruff rounded up the votes for the Raiders. Kaila Sargema made her second-consecutive appearance for Cleveland State. Reigning Defensive player of the Year Cassidy Blanchard of Milwaukee rightfully earned her spot on the roster. Top-10 scorer Marissa Martin represented Youngstown State. Detroit Mercy’s Phylisha Drayton, Green Bay’s Katie Schulz, Northern Kentucky’s Katelyn Newton, Oakland’s Sydnye Gagner, Valparaiso’s Cory Griffith and UIC’s Emily Wauer rounded out the team.
Schmelzer led the All-Freshman Team in votes. UIC’s Tamae Douglas also received a large number of votes alongside teammate Emily Valente, both making an appearance on the roster. Valparaiso placed two freshmen on the team led by Ali Quillen and Ava Porlier. Defenders from the Golden Grizzlies and the Raiders, Sierra Grodsinsky and Andrea Gomez were each selected to the team. Green Bay’s standout Alyssa Barnes, Detroit Mercy’s Casey Couturier, Northern Kentucky’s Ally Perkins, and Youngstown State’s Larsen Murvin rounded out the 11.
The Horizon League Women’s Soccer Championship kicks off Monday, Oct 31, with two quarterfinal contests. No. 3 Northern Kentucky hosts No. 6 Wright State, while No. 4 Oakland welcomes No. 5 Valparaiso. Both matches will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. On Thursday, Nov. 3, the tournament will move to Engelmann Stadium on the campus of Milwaukee for the semifinals and championship rounds. The first semifinal will see No. 2 Detroit Mercy square off against the highest remaining seed at 5 p.m. ET, with No. 1 Milwaukee taking on the lowest remaining seed at 8 p.m. ET. The championship contest will commence at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 5.
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”.
2016 Horizon League Women’s Soccer Award Winners
Player of the Year: Macy Hamblin, Jr., F, Northern Kentucky
Offensive Player of the Year: Macy Hamblin, Northern Kentucky
Defensive Player of the Year: Rachel DeLuca, Jr., D, Detroit Mercy
Goalkeeper of the Year: Marina Manzo, Jr., GK, Detroit Mercy
Freshman of the Year: McKaela Schmelzer, F, Milwaukee
Coach of the Year: Troy Fabiano, Milwaukee
First Team All-League
Macy Hamblin, Jr., F, Northern Kentucky
Maria Stephans, Sr., MF, Milwaukee
April Cronin, Sr., F, Valparaiso
Callie O’Donnell, Sr., F, Milwaukee
Anna Mindling, Sr., F, Detroit Mercy
Anna Smalley, Jr., MF, Milwaukee
Alice Palmer, Sr., F, Oakland
Aaliyah Patten, So., F, Wright State
Jessica Frey, Jr., F, Northern Kentucky
Rachel DeLuca, Jr., D, Detroit Mercy
Marina Manzo, Jr., GK, Detroit Mercy
Second Team All-League
Kaila Sargema, Sr., F, Cleveland State
Niki Romero, RS Jr., MF, Wright State
Marissa Martin, Jr., F, Youngstown State
Cassidy Blanchard, Jr., D, Milwaukee
Phylisha Drayton, Jr., MF, Detroit Mercy
Katie Schulz, Sr., D, Green Bay
Katelyn Newton, Sr., MF, Northern Kentucky
Sydnye Gagner So., MF/F, Oakland
Cory Griffith, So., F, Valparaiso
Emily Wauer, Jr., F, UIC
Katie Ruff, Sr., GK, Wright State
McKaela Schmelzer, Fr., D, Milwaukee
Tamae Douglas, Fr., MF/F, UIC
Emily Valentine, Fr., D, UIC
Alizabeth Quillen, Fr., MF, Valparaiso
Ava Porlier, Fr. F, Valparaiso
Sierra Grodsinsky, Fr., D, Oakland
Andrea Gomez, Fr., D, Wright State
Alyssa Barnes, Fr., MF, Green Bay
Casey Couturier, Fr., MF, Detroit Mercy
Larsen Murvin, Fr., D, Youngstown State
Ally Perkins, Fr., MF, Northern Kentucky