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Cox named newcomer of the year; ORU puts six on All-SLC teams

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 11/05/2013
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FRISCO, Texas – Six Oral Roberts University women’s soccer players capped off the best regular season in program history as they were honored on the All-Southland Conference teams, league offices announced on Tuesday.

Highlighting the list of Golden Eagles was Kaily Cox who was named the conference newcomer of the year. Cox was the first player to win an individual season award since Jennifer Abernathy received the same honor in the Summit League in 2010.

A sophomore defender, Cox anchored the ORU backline that has only allowed 16 goals this season, which is third lowest in the conference and is on pace for the school record for fewest goals allowed in a season. The Tulsa native scored her first career goal against Arkansas State on Sept. 15 and added a pair of assists in the season finale versus McNeese State.

Nicholls State sophomore Spencer Valdespino was named the league’s player of the year, while Southeastern Louisiana goalkeeper Hope Sabadash was named the freshman of the year. After leading his squad to the regular season championship, Stephen F. Austin’s Wally Crittenden was honored as the coach of the year.

Abernathy, senior midfielder from Broken Arrow, Okla., joined Cox on the first all-conference team. Named to the first team for the second consecutive season, Abernathy is the first Golden Eagle to achieve the feat since Natalya Manyan earned three straight All-Summit League First Team honors from 2007-09.

Abernathy led the Southland in assists (eight), was second in shots (83), third in points (26) and goals (nine). She has moved into the top 10 in several career categories at ORU as she closed the regular season second in program history in shots (226), fourth in goals (21), fifth in points (57) and eighth in assists (15).

Megan Giles highlighted the second team selections for ORU, the second time in as many seasons the junior received a second team honor. Giles scored six goals during the regular season, and added six assists. A native of Tulsa, Giles has collected 14 helpers in her career, tying her for eighth in program history.

Joining Giles on the second team is 2012 Southland Honorable Mention Kayla Keller. A sophomore from Tulsa, Keller inched her way closer to the ORU scoring list with eight goals during the regular season. She earned multiple goal games against Southwestern Oklahoma State on Sept. 8 and versus Nicholls State on Oct. 11.

Senior Jordan Parsons was rewarded for a career year as she was listed on the second team. Parsons netted the second most goals for the Golden Eagles with eight, tying her with Keller for the seventh most goals in the Southland. A forward from Shawnee, Okla., Parsons scored goals in four of the final five matches of the regular season.

Rounding out the team awards for the Golden Eagles is Maddie Rhodes who was named the All-Southland Second Team goalkeeper. Rhodes started the season in the backup role for ORU, but was called upon to start during the pregame warm-ups at Oklahoma on Sept. 13 and never looked back.

Rhodes, a native of Tulsa, won 10 matches this season, tying her with teammate Helen Erb for the seventh best season at ORU. With just ten goals allowed for the year, Rhodes is on pace to set a new school mark with a 0.66 goals against average, and the second best save percentage at .853.

Rounding out the all-conference nods was Leah Bickers who received honorable mention honors. Hailing from Tulsa, Bickers was a solid component of the ORU backline. 

ORU (15-4, 10-2) is just two wins away from the NCAA Tournament as they travel to Southland Conference Tournament on Friday. The Golden Eagles received a first round bye after finishing the regular season second in the points race. They will play at 4:30 p.m. versus the winner of game one between Southeastern Louisiana and Central Arkansas.

First Team

 

 

 

 

Name

School

Pos.

Class

Hometown/High School

Spencer Valdespino

Nicholls St.

F

So.

Spring Hill, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS

Chelsea Raymond

Stephen F. Austin

F

Jr.

Irving, Texas/McCarthur HS

Andrea Carpenter

Abilene Christian

F

Sr.

Amarillo, Texas/Randall HS

Jennifer Abernathy

Oral Roberts

MF

Sr.

Broken Arrow, Okla./Union HS

Melissa Gaudet

Stephen F. Austin

MF

Sr.

Bayside, Nova Scotia/Halifax West HS

Kelsey Salcido

Southeastern La.

MF

Sr.

Lakewood, Calif./Los Alamitos HS

Megan Dunnigan

Stephen F. Austin

D

Jr.

Round Rock, Texas/Vista Ridge HS

Kaily Cox

Oral Roberts

D

So.

Tulsa, Okla./Jenks HS

Chelsea Villaescusa

Southeastern La.

D

Jr.

Cypress, Calif./St. Josephs HS

Hope Sabadash

Southeastern La.

GK

Fr.

Mississauga, Ontario/Our Lady of Mount St. Carmel

Adriana Lucar

Central Arkansas

F

Jr.

Lima, Peru/Harding

 

Second Team

 

 

 

 

Name

School

Pos.

Class

Hometown/High School

Megan Giles

Oral Roberts

F

Jr.

Tulsa, Okla./Broken Arrow HS

Katie Miller

Incarnate Word

F

Sr.

Tyler, Texas/Home-schooled

Jordan Parsons

Oral Roberts

F

Sr.

Shawnee, Okla./Shawnee HS

Kayla Keller

Oral Roberts

MF

So.

Tulsa, Okla./Regent Preparatory

Ashlee Savona

Northwestern St.

MF

Sr.

Mississaunga, Ontario/St. Martins HS

Mariah Titus

Sam Houston St.

MF

So.

Bedford, Texas/Bell HS

Erin Christ

Southeastern La.

D

So.

Irvine, Calif./Northwood HS

Shanyce Shaw

Southeastern La.

D

Jr.

Ajax, Ontario/Pickering HS

Brie Buschman

Abilene Christian

D

Sr.

Amarillo, Texas/Randall HS

Maddie Rhodes

Oral Roberts

GK

So.

Tulsa, Okla./Union HS

Brenda Salazar

Stephen F. Austin

MF

Sr.

Sugar Land, Texas/Fort Bend Austin HS

Honorable mention: Zuri Prince, F, SFA; Brianna Singh, F, SLU; Yvette Fanco, F, AMCC; Kimmy Albeno, F, LU; Jannet Hernandez, MF, LU; Tricia Mallory, MF, SHSU; Molly Missimer, MF, HBU; Whitley Lindholm, MF, ACU; Melissa Pestalozzi, MF, NICH; Jess Coates, MF, NICH; Kate Koch, MF, UCA; Sydney Solomon, MF, UIW; Leah Bickers, D, ORU; Chantall Curry, D, SFA; Brooke Dunnigan, D, SFA; Megan Bennett, D, SHSU; Kelsie Roberts, D, ACU; Amber Thornhill, D, LU; Rachel Owens, D, SFA; Sarah Parker, D, UIW; Alexa Herbers, D, UCA; Kylie Hambleton, GK, SHSU; Lacey Lee, GK, SFA; Jessica Danku, NSU.

Player of the Year – Spencer Valdespino, Nicholls
Freshman of the Year – Hope Sabadash, Southeastern Louisiana
Newcomer of the YearKaily Cox, Oral Roberts
Coach of the Year – Wally Crittenden, Stephen F. Austin

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