Valparaiso University women's soccer coach Stephen Anthony was named the Mid-Continent Conference co-Coach of the Year and five Crusaders were named to either the league's First or Second Team on Thursday evening at the championship banquet held in Tulsa, Okla.
Three Crusaders were named to the Mid-Con's First Team with two more earning Second Team honors. Emily King (Colona, Ill./United Township H.S.), Erin Murray (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley H.S.), and Jackie Thomas (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest H.S.) all were First Team selections while Kendall Brown (Lake Zurich, Ill./Carmel H.S.) and Lori Johnson (Sachse, Texas/Naaman Forest H.S.) earned Second Team accolades.
Anthony guided the Brown and Gold to its first Mid-Con regular season title, one the Crusaders shared with Oakland after both finished with 4-2 marks in league play. Valpo (10-7-1) has tied a school record with ten victories this season heading into the Mid-Con Tournament this weekend. The Crusaders also won a school-record seven home matches this season. Anthony shared the honor with Southern Utah's Brian Stock.
King is a four-time All-Conference selection and earned First Team honors for the second straight season. A senior midfielder, she is second on the team in scoring, tallying seven goals and five assists for 19 total points this year. She tallied two match-winners, giving her six for her career. King also ranks third all-time at Valpo with 17 goals and ten assists, while ranking second with 44 total points.
Murray, a sophomore goalkeeper, has set Valpo's career shutout record through just two seasons. A Second Team All Mid-Con selection last year, her four blankings this year give her ten all-time. This season she has posted a 1.14 goals against average, which currently ranks best all-time on Valpo's single season charts. Her .790 save percentage also is among the best in a single year.
Thomas has been an anchor on the Crusader defense all season. The freshman has started all 18 games, and helped lead a Valpo team that has allowed just 23 goals on the year, fewest in the program's history.
Brown and Johnson, both freshmen, have been instrumental in Valpo's high-powered offense this year. Brown has scored ten goals, one shy of the school's single season record, while adding four assists for 24 points. The point total ties a single season mark at Valpo. Her goal total is second most in the Mid-Con this year.
Johnson has also been a force up top this year. Her six goals include four against Mid-Con foes. She added a pair of assists for 14 total points, tied for ninth on the single season charts. The rookie also tallied a pair of match-winning goals on the season.
Valpo will serve as the tournament's second seed and face Southern Utah on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. in Tulsa, Okla. The match will be broadcast live on WVUR (95.1-FM) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.