Player of the Year Brower leads six all-MWC Utes

By and

The MWC women’s soccer banquet was held last night to honor the players who shined on the field this season. Awards, voted on by the conference coaches, were given not only for all conference players, but for the top offensive and defensive players of the year, as well as the top freshman and coach.

The Offensive Player of the Year award went to Amber Brower of Utah. Brower, a senior from Hyrum, led the conference in game-winning goals (5) and goals scored (8), finished second in points per game (1.12) and goals per game (.47) and was third in total points (19). Brower also excelled in conference play, scoring a league-best four goals, three of them game winners-a stat that U coach Rich Manning felt contributed heavily to her winning the award.

“I think the conference coaches noticed that Amanda scored a lot of clutch goals for our team this year,” he said.

The Defensive Player of the Year award went to BYU’s Aleisha Rose. The All American led the league in assists (10), and also contributed to a defense that held its opponents to 18 total goals on the season.

Freshman of the Year also went to a Ute in Amanda Feigt, a player who has been increasing recognition lately with two-straight conference Player of the Week awards.

Feigt was the most important player on the Ute attack this season. When she wasn’t feeding her teammates on one of her team-leading eight assists, she was opening things up with her blazing speed and fancy footwork.

“Amanda’s been a threat all year,” Manning said. “Any team that plays against us says, ‘Man, we’ve got to watch that girl.'”

Wyoming’s Anne Moore received Coach of the Year honors for the first time after leading her team to a 4 2 conference record and 10-8 overall. The Cowgirls had their best season ever, finishing in a second-place tie with BYU.

Utah and BYU, who finished first and second in the conference, respectively, each placed six players on the all-conference teams to lead all MWC schools.

The first-team honorees included Brower, Feigt, Mercy Adeyote of Wyoming, Krissa Campbell of BYU, Jennifer Fielding of BYU, Annii Magluilo of UNLV, Aleisha Rose of BYU, Alexis Solovij of San Diego State, Kristin Stangl of Wyoming, Tracy Stratton of Utah and goalkeeper Lori Scheider of Wyoming.

The first-teamers from Utah were all major contributors to the best season in the nine-year history of the program. Feigt was the clear cut offensive weapon, while the seniors took care of the acute aspects of the game among other things.

“Amber and Tracy [Stratton] do a lot of the dirty work for our team,” Manning said. “It’s good to see people like that, who don’t do things that are flashy or recognized all the time, get rewarded.”

The Utes also placed three players on the all-conference second team: senior Bobbie Benegas, junior Lauren Field and freshman goalkeeper Ashley Mason.

Mason, who had the league’s best goals against average (.41 per game), also had five shutouts, including a pivotal one against BYU.

Field overcame a heart condition to score seven goals this year, including a hat trick that single-handedly beat Baylor 3-2 in September.

Benegas, like Brower and Stratton, did a lot of the dirty work for the Utes, often energizing the team with her fiery play. She also excelled in conference play, scoring twice and assisting on another.

It was more than a little surprising that the no Ute defenders were recognized, given the fact that they allowed only nine goals all season long, including just one in conference play.

Manning recognized this injustice, but was pleased with the overall results.

“I always tell the girls, when the team does well, individuals get rewarded for that,” he said. “Having six girls making it to the first and second team indicates for all of our team that we’ve had a great season. That’s the most important thing.”

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