2014 Season Awards

Goalkeeper Of The Year: Georgia Rowntree (Wyoming)

A fairly simple award to decide, this one. Georgia was the only Australian goalkeeper in NCAA Division I this year, but even if there was competition, she may still have secured the award. Despite being a freshman, Georgia was able to wrest playing time from Wyoming’s senior starting goalkeeper, playing in a total of 9 games and starting 7 of those.

Defender Of The Year: Emily Hulbert (Hofstra)

It was a close-run thing between Alexandra Huynh of Colorado and Emily Hulbert of Hofstra this season for Defender Of The Year, but with Alexandra injuring her foot midway through the season, Emily’s solid form for Hofstra saw her win the award. Aside from being a standout in the Hofstra defence, Emily also popped up at the attacking end of the field with a couple of goals this season to help Hofstra come within a fingernail of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

2nd: Alexandra Huynh (Colorado)

Midfielder Of The Year: Jess Coates (Nicholls State)

Jess was named captain of the Nicholls State side this season, and led from the front with five goals and six assists for the season, with many of these coming in vital moments for the Colonels. Her exploits helped the side win a match in the Southland Conference tournament for the first time as they defeated McNeese State to progress to the semi-finals. Jess just barely beat Wyoming starlet Alisha Bass for midfielder of the year, as both players had stellar seasons linking with their teams’ attackers.

2nd: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
3rd: Candace Sciberras (Wyoming)

Forward Of The Year: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)

After starting the season as a defender (where she was in good enough form to win Defender Of The Year if she’d stayed there), Shelbi was moved up front partway through the season, and it proved to be the masterstroke of the season as the Tasmanian junior linked magnificently with Aaliyah Lewis, ironically taking a spot that had been filled by fellow Australian Anastasia McCleary, who moved to Creighton this year. Shelbi finished the season with seven goals and eleven assists, including one game that saw her tally three assists inside 35 minutes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in one of the performances of the season.

2nd: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
3rd: Lilly Rydon (UMBC)

Freshman Of The Year: Harriet Withers (Murray State)

Despite missing out on the forward of the year award, Harriet Withers still managed to secure the Freshman Of The Year award courtesy of six goals and two assists this season. Harriet got her career started brilliantly with two goals against Georgia State in just her second game, and after a lean spell through the rest of the non-conference schedule, came back with a bang, scoring four goals in conference play to help lead the side into the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, where the Racers were unfortunately defeated by Morehead State in the first round.

2nd: Alisha Bass (Wyoming)
3rd: Candace Sciberras (Wyoming)

Sophomore Of The Year: Alexandra Huynh (Colorado)

With only two sophomores in college soccer this season, it was a 50/50 decision from the outset. Unfortunately, though, Bridget Sankey didn’t feature this season for Southeast Missouri State, leaving Alexandra to be the only sophomore to see playing time this year. Alex did have a solid season though, which was unfortunately punctuated by a foot injury. She returned in time for the last game of the regular season for Colorado, and saw significant playing time in the national tournament, in which the Buffaloes made the second round.

Junior Of The Year: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)

Shelbi Vienna-Hallam’s exploits have already been outlined as she won Forward Of The Year, but with five juniors playing this season, all of them amongst top players, it took a great season just to finish ahead of Midfielder Of The Year Jess Coates. With Kahlia Hogg also being a junior this year, this was definitely a stacked set of players, and Shelbi shone through with some stellar performances.

2nd: Jess Coates (Nicholls State)
3rd: Kahlia Hogg (Colorado)

Senior Of The Year: Lilly Rydon (UMBC)

The senior class was expected to be a small but high level set of players, with Lilly Rydon, Nicole Calder, and Simone Arthur all being vital parts of their teams this season. Unfortunately, Nicole Calder and Simone Arthur were both ruled out for the season for differing reasons, leaving Lilly to be the final remaining senior. Lilly managed six goals for the season, including one game winner, in what was a disappointing season for UMBC, who were expected to build on last season’s national tournament appearance, but were knocked out in the semi-finals of the America East tournament.

Breakout Player Of The Year: Kahlia Hogg (Colorado)

After two seasons at Florida State that saw Kahlia play limited minutes in a top-shelf squad, a transfer to Colorado to join fellow Aussie Alexandra Huynh saw Kahlia reinvigorate her college career. The Canberra junior scored 4 goals and added three assists as a move to a new school also meant a move to a more advanced position on the field which turned out to be as big a masterstroke as the transfer itself, as Kahlia proved to be a major part of a side which reached the second round of the national tournament – not as far as Kahlia had travelled with Florida State, but she played in more games this season than in her two seasons with the Seminoles combined.

Most Assists: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State) – 11 assists

2nd: Alisha Bass (Wyoming), Jess Coates (Nicholls State) – 6 assists

Top Goalscorer: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State) – 7 goals

2nd: Lilly Rydon (UMBC), Harriet Withers (Murray State) – 6 goals

Player Of The Year:

3rd: Harriet Withers (Murray State)
2nd: Jess Coates (Nicholls State)
1st: Shelbi Vienna-Hallam (Alabama State)

With a season like the one Shelbi Vienna-Hallam has produced, it was always going to be difficult for anyone else to top her for Player Of The Year. Various players went close, but in the end it was Shelbi’s brilliant performances throughout the conference season, with a goal or an assist in 9 of the side’s last 11 games, that saw her put together a season CV strong enough to see her named Player Of The Year.

About Lachy 383 Articles
Founder of College Matildas. An Australian women's football fan who also happens to be a college sports fan. Often found at A-League Women or NPLW games.

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