Valparaiso University head coach Stephen Anthony was named Mid-Continent Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight season and freshman Sarah Jewell (Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill H.S.) was named the league's Newcomer of the Year as the conference handed out its year-end awards on Wednesday evening.
Jewell was also a First Team All Mid-Con selection, joining teammates Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.) and Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.). Lauren Cooper (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep H.S.) was named to the Mid-Con's Second Team while Jewell and Jessie White (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Buffalo Grove H.S.) each were named to the All-Newcomer Team.
Jewell led Valpo in scoring with ten goals during the regular season, one shy of the school's single season mark. Her 22 total points are fifth most in a year for the Brown and Gold. The freshman forward ranks second in the lead in goals as well as points.
Murray has had a record-setting year in goal for the Crusaders. A two-time First Team selection and three-time All-Conference pick, her 0.74 goals against average entering the conference tournament is best in school history, as is her .838 save percentage. The junior goalkeeper's three shutouts give her a school record 14 for her career.
Thomas is a two-time First Team All Mid-Con pick for Valpo as a defender. Her four goals from the backline were fourth most on the Crusader roster, and included a match-winner against Oral Roberts. She helped Valpo's defense allow a school-low 14 goals this year.
Cooper earns league accolades for the first time in her career. The redshirt-junior midfielder scored a career-high three goals and added an assist for the Brown and Gold this season.
White had an outstanding rookie campaign for the Crusaders. The midfielder scored twice, including a match-winner against Oakland and dished out a pair of assists.
Anthony earned Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career after leading Valparaiso to the Mid-Continent Conference regular season title. The crown is Valpo's second straight, but first outright championship after sharing the top spot last season. The Mid-Con Coach of the Year in both 2001 and 2005 as well, Anthony's Crusaders have posted a 12-3-3 overall record, the best season in school history. His squad has set school records for goals (38) and fewest goals allowed (14).
With a 4-0-2 record in league play, Valpo enters the Mid-Con Tournament on Thursday as the top seed and faces #4 Western Illinois in Rochester, Mich. beginning at 10 a.m. CST. The match will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.