SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Regular-season Southern Conference champion Samford swept the league’s postseason individual awards in all-conference balloting of the 10 head coaches. Senior forward Jermaine Seoposenwe was named the SoCon Player of the Year, while classmate Olivia Cole repeated as Defensive Player of the Year. Fellow defender Allie Lourie was tabbed the Freshman of the Year, while Todd Yelton was voted the Coach of the Year by his peers for the third straight season.
The league coaches voted on a pair of all-conference teams, an all-freshman team and the four individual awards. They were not allowed to vote for themselves or their own players. The all-conference first and second teams include 11 players each, voted on by position, while the all-freshman team, which gives no regard to position, consists of 12 players because of a tie in voting.
Samford paced the league with seven all-conference players, including five on the first team, for the second straight year. ETSU and Furman both earned five all-conference selections, each putting two on the first team and three on the second.
Seoposenwe, who competed for her native South Africa in the Rio Olympics this summer, leads the Southern Conference this season with 38 points and a school-record 16 goals and is tied for fourth with six assists in 17 matches played. The Cape Town native, who is second nationally with eight game-winning goals, is vying to become the first Bulldog to lead the league in either scoring or goals since Samford joined the SoCon in 2008. She was the only player on the all-conference first team to get the maximum number of votes and won the Player of the Year vote in the same manner. Seoposenwe becomes Samford’s second SoCon Player of the Year and first since 2009, when Amber Cress shared the honor.
Cole, who has started all 17 matches in which she’s appeared this season, earned her second straight Defensive Player of the Year award after anchoring a defense that has posted 12 shutouts in 18 matches, seven of which came in Samford’s nine league games. The senior from Orlando, Florida, becomes the first two-time winner of the award, which was introduced for the 2014 season.
Lourie becomes the Bulldogs’ first-ever SoCon Freshman of the Year. The rookie from Atlanta, Georgia, appeared in all 18 of Samford’s matches this year and played her way into the starting lineup midway through the season, as she has started the Bulldogs’ last 10 contests. In addition to contributing to Samford’s 12 shutouts on the defensive end, Lourie scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Baylor on Sept. 9.
Yelton earned his third straight Coach of the Year nod and fourth of his career after leading the Bulldogs to a 13-3-2 overall mark, an 8-1-0 SoCon record and their third straight regular-season title, in addition to high-profile wins over Baylor and Alabama. This season, the Bulldogs’ 15th-year head coach has directed a well-rounded squad that ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring and shutout percentage. Yelton has the Bulldogs in the semifinals of the SoCon Women’s Soccer Championship for the fourth straight season and seventh time in eight years in the league.
Seoposenwe and Cole were joined on the all-conference first team by Bulldog teammates Taylor Borman (midfielder), Emily Jones (defender) and Anna Maddox (goalkeeper). Cole, Borman and Maddox are making their second straight appearances on the first team, while Seoposenwe was also a first-team selection in 2014. Maddox, it’s worth noting, is 12-0-0 in goal this season and ranks fifth nationally with a 0.354 goals against average.
Forward Malcanisha Kelley and midfielder Anna Allen represent Samford on the second team.
ETSU, whose second-place league finish was its best ever in the SoCon, put forward Eleonora Goldoni and defender Emily McKerlie on the first team, while midfielders Irina Brutsch and Molly Collinson and defender Pauline Vienne earned second-team honors. Goldoni is second in the SoCon to Seoposenwe in points (33) and goals (15).
Furman, the defending SoCon tournament champion, saw forward Carlie Couch become just the fourth player in league history to earn first-team honors four times, joining a trio of former Paladins. The senior from Tifton, Georgia, is the SoCon’s active leader in career points (87) and goals (37) and needs just one more goal to enter the league’s career top 10. Couch was joined on the first team by teammate Rachel Shah in the midfield.
Paladins Treva Aycock (forward), Molly Dwyer (forward) and Quinn Lombard (defender) earned spots on the all-conference second team.
Mercer rounded out the first team with a pair of selections, with midfielder Maddie Clark and defender Corinne Wooten taking the honors.
UNCG filled in the rest of the second team with three selections. Midfielder Georgia Brown earned her third career all-conference selection, while defender Regan Lehman earned second-team honors for the second straight year and Chloe Buehler earned the second-team nod at goalkeeper.
Seven teams accounted for the 12 members of the all-freshman team, with Furman leading the way with three picks in Aycock, Caitlyn Reilly and Kellsey Weaver. UNCG (Marissa Ferrantino and Cienna Rideout), Samford (Lourie and Taylor Meneide) and Chattanooga (Jordan Mueller and Hannah Torbett) had two picks each. ETSU’s Georgia Allen, Mercer’s Megan Delmonico and Western Carolina’s Emily Threatt complete the team.
Samford, ETSU, Mercer and Furman, the top four seeds, respectively, have advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship, which will take place at ETSU’s Summers-Taylor Stadium on Friday, starting at 5 p.m. Both matches will appear live on the SoCon Digital Network. The championship match will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
2016 Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Jermaine Seoposenwe, Sr., F, Samford
Defensive Player of the Year – Olivia Cole, Sr., D, Samford
Coach of the Year – Todd Yelton, Samford
Freshman of the Year – Allie Lourie, D, Samford
F Eleonora Goldoni, ETSU
F Carlie Couch, Furman
F Jermaine Seoposenwe, Samford
MF Rachel Shah, Furman
MF Maddie Clark, Mercer
MF Taylor Borman, Samford
D Emily McKerlie, ETSU
D Corinne Wooten, Mercer
D Olivia Cole, Samford
D Emily Jones, Samford
GK Anna Maddox, Samford
F Treva Aycock, Furman
F Molly Dwyer, Furman
F Malcanisha Kelley, Samford
MF Irina Brutsch, ETSU
MF Molly Collinson, ETSU
MF Georgia Brown, UNCG
MF Anna Allen, Samford
D Pauline Vienne, ETSU
D Quinn Lombard, Furman
D Regan Lehman, UNCG
GK Chloe Buehler, UNCG
Georgia Allen, ETSU
Treva Aycock, Furman
Caitlyn Reilly, Furman
Kellsey Weaver, Furman
Megan Delmonico, Mercer
Marissa Ferrantino, UNCG
Cienna Rideout, UNCG
Allie Lourie, Samford
Taylor Meneide, Samford
Jordan Mueller, Chattanooga
Hannah Torbett, Chattanooga
Emily Threatt, Western Carolina