BROOKINGS, S.D. – Host South Dakota State picked up a trio of individual awards, while regular-season champion Denver earned a pair on the eve of the Summit League Championship presented by U.S. Air Force Special Warfare as league officials announced their annual women's soccer honors Wednesday.
For the Jackrabbits, junior Maggie Smither repeated as Goalkeeper of the Year for the third-straight year. It marks the first time in Summit League history that a player earned the honor in three consecutive seasons.
The Sioux Falls, S.D., native anchored a unit that only allowed three goals during Summit League action en route to a 6-1-1 finish. Smither paced the league with a nation-leading 13 total shutouts, which is a league and SDSU-record and is a three-time Summit League Defensive Player of the Week.
SDSU teammate Leah Manuleleua became the first Jackrabbit to earn the league's Offensive Player of the Year since Diana Potterveld won it in 2014. The senior forward is second among Summit League goal scorers, finding the net 10 times with a league-best seven game-winners. Those seven decisive goals ranks her second nationally.
Maya Hansen of the Jackrabbits joined Smither and Manuleleua in winning a top individual award as she became the first SDSU player to earn the league's Freshman of the Year accolade since Potterveld did so in 2012. Hansen's seven goals are second on the team and the freshman sits sixth in the Summit League in goals and points (16). The Savage, Minn., native has four goals against league opponents and is just behind Manuleleua (27) with 22 shots on goal.
The group of Smither, Manuleleua and Hansen are the first trio of teammates to earn top individual honors in the same season since Denver in 2016.
Denver's Jeff Hooker was named the Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons and for the third time overall. The Pioneers clinched the regular-season title following his 600th career game on the sidelines. His team set a program-record by tallying 22 points during regular-season league play.
Anchoring the Pioneers' back line was senior Cheyenne Shorts, who captured Defensive Player of the Year honor. Shorts anchored her defense all season long, starting 18 matches for her team that posted 11 shutouts.
The Pioneers paced the field with nine all-league selections, including five on the first team. Hannah Adler, a senior midfielder, and Brittany Wilson, a senior goalkeeper, each earned their fourth consecutive all-league recognition as Adler was named to the first team, while Wilson tabbed second-team honors. Denver added sophomore forward Natalie Beckman, sophomore forward Sami Feller and junior defender Taylor Parker to the first team. SDSU added seven with Smither and Manuleleua both landing on the first team.
Joining Smither, Manuleleua, Adler, Beckham, Feller, Shorts and Wilson on the first team were fellow DU's Taylor Parker, North Dakota State forward Elyse Huber, SDSU's Darien Poelstra and Kaitlyn Zabel and South Dakota forward Kellee Willer.
Three members of the Oral Roberts team were among a league-leading trio of Golden Eagles named to the All-Freshman Team. North Dakota, who is making its first appearance in the Summit League Championship had forward Bailey McNitt land on the All-Freshman team.
Offensive Player of the Year
Leah Manuleleua, South Dakota State
Defensive Player of the Year
Cheyenne Shorts, Denver
Goalkeeper of the Year
Maggie Smither, South Dakota State
Freshman of the Year
Maya Hansen, South Dakota State
Coach of the Year
Jeff Hooker, Denver
2019 All-Summit League Women's Soccer Teams
Hannah Adler, Denver, MF
Natalie Beckman, Denver, F
Sami Feller, Denver, MF
Elyse Huber, North Dakota State, F
Leah Manuleleua, South Dakota State, F
Taylor Parker, Denver, D
Darien Poelstra, South Dakota State, MF
Cheyenne Shorts, Denver, D
Maggie Smither, South Dakota State, GK
Kellee Willer, South Dakota, F
Kaitlin Zabel, South Dakota State, D
Maya Hansen, South Dakota State, F
Jordan Langebartels, Oral Roberts, F
Margaret LaVigne, Omaha, D
Camryn MacMillan, Denver, F
Karlee Manding, South Dakota State, MF
Alexis Mitchell, South Dakota, MF
Abby Ostrem, South Dakota, D
Drishana Pillay, Oral Roberts, MF
Monica Polgar, North Dakota State, GK
Gabby Vivier-Hannay, South Dakota State, D
Brittany Wilson, Denver, GK
Gabrielle Abbey, Oral Roberts, D
Allison Austin, Oral Roberts, GK
Lavin Douglass, North Dakota State, MF
Hannah Gallegos, Denver, D
Kaitlyn Glover, Denver, MF
Maya Hansen, South Dakota State, F
Lynette Hawkins, Western Illinois, D
Mia Kitterman, Oral Roberts, F
Bailey McNitt, North Dakota, F
McKenna Strand, North Dakota State, D
Lexie Wood, South Dakota, MF
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