Williams Named WCC Freshman of the Year and Ward Named Coach of the Year; 10 Waves Overall Earned All-Conference Honors
Laura Cole and Michelle Pao earned First Team All-Conference honors.
Nov. 8, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - Freshman forward Lynn Williams was named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and head coach Tim Ward earned WCC Coach of the Year honors, as announced by the league office today. In addition to the individual postseason honors, the WCC champion Waves had 10 players named to all-conference teams, with senior forward Laura Cole and sophomore defender Michelle Pao being named to the All-WCC first team--the first time since 2005 two players have represented the Waves on the first team.
Eight more Waves earned all-conference honors, with three being named to the second team: junior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS), redshirt junior defender Kelsea Smith (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) and Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS). Honorable mention nods went to senior midfielder Karissa Garcia (Roseville, Calif./Oakmont HS), sophomore defender Kristin DeGrandmont (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS), senior defender Myriah Stockman (Sandy, Utah/Brighton HS) and junior forward Anisa Guajardo (Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS). Ally Holtz (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou HS) and Williams were selected to the WCC All-Freshman team.
Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) becomes only the second Wave to be named freshman of the year. (Lacey Ubaldi shared the honor in 2000.) She has tallied six goals and eight assists on the season, including the game winner in a 1-0 conference match at BYU, and is second on the team with 20 points and has started in 18 of the 19 games she has appeared in.
The Coach of the Year honor is the second of Ward's career. He won the honor in 2002 after leading the Waves to a share of the WCC title--the school's first conference title in soccer. This season Ward has led the Waves to their second WCC title with a record of 7-1-0 (15-1-4 overall), setting multiple single-season school records along the way. Some notables include seven conference victories, an unbeaten streak of 17 games, the lowest goals-against average (0.53) and the most shutouts (10). He also coached the Waves to an unbeaten record of 8-0-1 at home, the second-straight season the team has been undefeated at Tari Frahm Rokus Field.
The first team selection is the first for Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS). She earned honorable mention accolades in 2010 and 2008. Cole led the team in conference play with four goals, second most in the conference. Her three game winners tie for the most in the WCC. Overall she is second on the team with seven goals scored this season.
Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) earns first team honors for the second-straight season-in 2010 she became the first Waves freshman to be named to the first team in 14 years. Pao has been a key part of the Waves defense that set single-season records with 10 shutouts and a 0.53 goals-against average this year. She is also a dangerous attacker and has scored three goals this season.
Another member of the Waves' defensive line, Smith notched her third career all-conference nod but first on the second team. Fellow defenders Stockman and DeGrandmont earned honorable mention accolades for their part in the Waves' record-setting season. It is the second career nod for both Stockman and DeGrandmont. All four defenders have been durable for the Waves, starting all 20 games as a defensive unit.
This is the third postseason honor for goalkeeper Barker and the second time she has been named to the second team. She set multiple single-season school records this year, including goalkeeper wins (15), save percentage (.875) and goals-against average (0.53).
Guajardo earned honorable mention for her one goal and three assists in conference play. Overall, the forward leads the team with nine goals this season. The WCC accolade is the first of her career. Garcia also earned her first career honorable mention nod as she has started all 20 games for the Waves and netted two goals in WCC play from her central midfielder position.
Holtz joins Williams on the WCC All-Freshman squad, marking the fifth time the Waves have had two players on the All-Freshman team. The last time was in 2009 when Barker and Smith garnered the honor. Holtz netted two goals, including the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga.
The Waves finished the season with an impressive 15-1-4 record overall, 7-1-0 in WCC play and earned a #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They will host Long Beach State in a first round game Saturday (Nov. 12) at 1:30 p.m.
The remainder of the league's top awards were claimed by Stephanie Ochs of San Diego (Player of the Year), Natalie Garcia of San Diego (Defensive Player of the Year) and Bianca Henninger of Santa Clara (Goalkeeper of the Year).