LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – In exclusive voting by the head women's soccer coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), Trinity University was rewarded for its unbeaten regular season – the 10th straight for the program – as the Tigers walked away with at least a share of all four of the league's major awards. Complete Release
Chelsea Cole was voted SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year for the second consecutive year, Kristen Canepa was tabbed Defensive Player-of-the-Year, and Alex Walsh earned SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year honors.
In addition, Trinity head coach Dylan Harrison, along with Linda Hamilton of Southwestern University, both earned a share of Coach-of-the-Year honors as the two split the vote in the coaches' balloting.
A senior forward from Texarkana, Texas, Cole leads the SCAC in virtually every offensive category, including goals scored (19), points (47), shots (81) and assists (9). A five-time SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week selection during the regular season, which marks a new SCAC single-season record, Cole is second in the league in game-winning goals with five. The senior has scored a goal in 11 of the Tigers' 19 games which includes a stretch from Sept. 14 to Sept. 25 where she found the net nine times in four games. Included among that streak was a school-record tying four goals in a 9-0 victory against Austin College. She had multiple-goal performances in four of those contests, and her nine-point effort against Schreiner on Oct. 19 (3 goals, 3 assists) was the highest point total posted in a conference match since 2007. Cole's selection as SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year represents the 13th time a Trinity student-athlete has won the award and the ninth time in the last 10 years. She is also the first back-to-back recipient of the award since another Tiger, Emily Jorgens, took home top honors in 2012 and 2013.
Cole received six votes in the balloting for Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors while junior forward Kyra Montes of Centenary College received the remaining two first-place votes.
Kristen Canepa, a junior defender from Westlake Village, Calif., helped lead a Trinity defensive effort that gave up just three goals throughout the regular season for a 0.19 goals-against-average – the third-lowest in the nation. The Tigers, who are second in the nation in shutout percentage at .867, allowed just one goal in conference play and posted 12 shutouts in the team's last 13 matches. A three-year starter, Canepa has helped the team to 47 shutouts in her career and has been key to the team's defensive efforts not only preventing goal-scoring opportunities, but also by limiting shot selection. The junior also chipped in offensively this season, scoring three goals, including the game-winner in a 3-1 win at Centenary on Oct. 7. The SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year award is the second straight for the Trinity program as Julia Kelly received the honor a year ago, and overall, Canepa is the eighth Trinity player to receive the honor.
Canepa received four votes from the coaches in the Defensive Player-of-the-Year balloting while junior defender Romie Reyna of Southwestern and senior defender Lindsey Fitz of Schreiner received two first-place votes each.
Alex Walsh, a first-year midfielder from Tulsa, Okla., had two goals and four assists for eight points in her inaugural campaign for Trinity, with all her damage coming in conference competition. She had a hand in two of the team's three goals in back-to-back road victories at Southwestern (Oct. 2) and at Centenary (Oct. 7). She started all 16 games for the 16th-ranked Tigers, and her four assists tied for sixth-best in the league. Walsh, who was the only first-year player to receive First Team All-SCAC recognition, is the second straight Trinity player to earn Newcomer-of-the-Year honors and the ninth overall. Current teammate Lilah Bevins took home the honor a year ago.
Walsh received four first-place votes in the Newcomer-of-the-Year selection process, narrowly out-balloting first-year forward Hallie Rutherford of Southwestern, who received three votes. First-year defender Le Lein of the University of Dallas received the remaining vote.
In her fourth season at Southwestern, Linda Hamilton led her squad to the largest turnaround in the SCAC this season. After posting a 3-8-1 league mark a year ago, the Pirates went 8-3 this season – a five game improvement – to earn the No. 2 seed in this weekend's SCAC tournament. The eight conference wins ties for the second-most for the program in a single-season (w/ the 2016 season) since Southwestern joined the SCAC prior to the 1994 season. A season after scoring just six goals in 17 games, the Pirates found the net 26 times in two fewer matches in 2018 which tied with Centenary for the second-most in the conference during the regular season. The award is the second for Hamilton (2016) and marks the fourth time a Southwestern coach has received SCAC Women's Soccer Coach-of-the-Year honors.
In his third season at the helm of the Trinity program, Dylan Harrison led the Tigers to their 10th straight SCAC women's soccer regular season title, with this year's squad posting a perfect 13-0-0 mark. The consecutive regular season championship run coincides with Trinity's consecutive conference win streak record as the Tigers have now extended their NCAA Division III record for most consecutive conference wins (including conference tournaments) to 123. Heading into the SCAC tournament, this year's edition of the Tigers has posted the highest-scoring offense in the nation, averaging 4.00 goals and 3.00 assists for 173 total points. The award is the second for Harrison but the 16th time a Trinity head coach has been named SCAC Women's Soccer Coach-of-the-Year.
To view the entire 2018 All-SCAC Women's Soccer Team, click here.
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October 30, 2018 2018 SCAC Fall Championship Merchandise Available
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September 10, 2018 SCAC Women's Soccer Recap - Week Two
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August 30, 2018 SCAC Fall Media Days
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