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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Best of the best

By Tom Quinn

If there is one thing that sports writers like to do more than complain, it’s give awards. Between the preseason, the midseason and the postseason, we as a group hand out more accolades than MTV, the Golden Globes and the Rotarians combined.

So with the biggest game of the season just hours away, I thought it was about time to show some love for the women’s soccer team. Heaven knows they deserve the press.

Without further ado, I give you the best players from the best team on campus:

MVP: Ashley Mason, goalkeeper

Not only did Mason shut down opposing offenses during the longest shutout streak in school history, but she managed to blank Utah’s defenders, too. By my count, were it not for Mason’s acrobatics between the posts, the Utes would have given up three own goals over the course of the season.

Mason, who played through injury for much of the season, made 67 saves in 19 games en route to being named the top defender in the Mountain West.

Offensive Player of the Year: Amanda Feigt, forward

Adele Letro did more scoring than Ron Jeremy this season, but Feigt set up the vast majority of those goals with her fancy footwork. Her speed makes it impossible for opposing defenses to match up with the Utes one-on-one.

Fans would do well to keep an eye on Feigt during tonight’s game against Idaho State. She has 21 assists in her career, and needs just one more to claim sole possession of the top spot in school history.

Defensive Player of the Year: Kiley Jones, midfield

Mason makes the saves and Melissa Wayman dishes out the punishment, but no one works harder than Jones to keep the muzzle on opposing offenses.

As a midfielder, Jones serves as the Utes’ first line of defense and covers more ground in a single half than most players do during an entire game. A tough, physical player, Jones is quick to challenge the opposition on the ground and in the air.

“Sixth Man” Award: Katy Reineke, defender/midfield

Yes, I am aware that soccer utilizes 11 players at once and that Reineke is not a man, but the “Twelfth Woman” Award just sounded ridiculous.

Although she hasn’t started a single game this season, Reineke has been instrumental in the Utes’ success. Smart and fundamentally sound, Reineke has the skills to take over the midfield, should the situation call for it.

Versatility is another one of Reineke’s strengths. She can be equally effective at virtually any position on the field and will likely be one of the players asked to fill in at forward for the injured Hailey Marsh.

Comeback Player of the Year: Hailey Marsh, forward

After suffering through an injury-plagued junior season in which she started just seven games and scored only one goal, Marsh staged a remarkable return to form in 2006, tallying three assists on top of three goals.

Marsh, a native of Centennial, Colo., has managed to make a name for herself this season despite playing in the shadows of Letro and Feigt, two of the best forwards in the West. Thanks in part to her team-first attitude, Marsh has found a way to contribute in a situation that would have smothered a lesser player.

Breakout Player of the Year: Carisse Winegar, defender

Who knew she could play defense? After spending her entire career at forward, Winegar switched to defense in an attempt to shore up the Utes’ back line, which had been decimated by injury.

Winegar has started every game since converting to the other side, and the results have been phenomenal. A heady player with a knack for coming through in the clutch, she has been the most pleasant surprise of 2006.

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