SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG's women's soccer team placed five players on the All-Southern Conference teams and three on the league's all-freshman team in voting by the conference's 11 head coaches, the SoCon announced Tuesday.
The coaches selected an 11-member all-conference first team, a 12-member all-conference second team as well as an 11-member all-freshman team and individual awards. They were not allowed to vote for their own players or themselves.
"We are thrilled that so many UNCG athletes are being mentioned in the league's annual awards," said head coach Steve Nugent. "The SoCon is one of the toughest leagues in college soccer, and with 11 teams competing each year with quality athletes, it is a true testament to our girls' commitment that they have been chosen. Each one of our girls has brought their very best to UNCG and we are thankful to the coaches for their recognition. We wish to congratulate all the conference award winners for 2012."
Senior Cat Barnekow (Santa Rosa, Calif./Santa Rosa) earned first team all-conference honors for the second time after being selected a preseason all-conference pick. Seniors Lauren Hein (Torrance, Calif./South Torrance), Stephanie Partenheimer (Apex, N.C./Apex) and Karin Sendel (Kiryat Tivon, Israel/Ort Kiryat Bialik) each were honored as second team all-conference members. Freshman Jamie Simmons (Houston, Texas/Clear Brook) also earned second team All-SoCon honors as well as an all-freshman team selection. Joining Simmons on the all-freshman squad are Chesney White (Franklin, Tenn./Franklin) and Katherine Rodriguez (Franklin, Tenn./Father Ryan) to round out the accolades for UNCG.
The five all-league picks tied for most in the conference with Samford and Furman. Barnekow's first-team selection made it 13 straight seasons that UNCG has had at least one first-team honoree.
Barnekow, a redshirt senior, picked up her third career all-conference nod and first-team honors for the second time after landing on the first team in 2010. This season, the defender from Santa Rosa, Calif., matched her career high with four goals and added five assists for a team-leading 13 points. Playing the second half of the season at defense, Barnekow thrived holding conference opponents to just four goals in the last ten games. Barnekow also helped the defensive unit earn six-straight shutouts to help the Spartans clinch their ninth SoCon regular season title. She had a hand in many game-winning situations as four of her five assists led to game-winning goals.
Partenheimer earned a second team All-SoCon spot for the second-straight season. The redshirt senior from Apex, N.C., started all 20 matches in the defense for UNCG. She was part of a defensive unit that allowed just six goals and posted six shutouts in SoCon play. Partenheimer also helped the defense earn six-straight shutouts, concluding with a shutout victory at Elon to clinch the SoCon regular season title. She finished her career with 39 consecutive starts to lead the team.
Sendel earned a spot on the second team All-SoCon for the second-straight season. The senior from Kiryat Tivon, Israel, started all 20 contests in the midfield for the Spartans, including four overtime affairs. Sendel was second on the team in assists with four and finished with six points. She was sixth on the team in minutes played as one of UNCG's most durable players. Sendel scored against UNC Asheville and finished sixth with six points.
Hein picks up her first career SoCon all-conference award, earning second team honors after being named to the all-freshman team in 2009. The senior from Torrance, Calif., played half the season on defense and played the final 10 games at forward. Hein exceled at both positions, holding Wake Forest to zero goals and led the team in conference with four goals and three assists. She was second on the team with two game-winning goals against The Citadel and at Wofford. Hein also assisted on two game-winning goals against College of Charleston and Georgia Southern.
Simmons was honored with a second team All-SoCon selection and named to the all-freshman team in her first season with the Spartans. The Houston, Texas native had an outstanding freshman campaign, earning SoCon Player of the Week twice after making 14 saves against Georgia in her collegiate debut and a 15-save effort against Furman. Simmons picked up her first shutout against then No. 7 Wake Forest and only allowed six goals during 11 conference matches. She also acquired a shutout streak of six-straight games and finished the regular season without giving up a goal in 589 minutes. Simmons played all 20 games making 97 saves, which is fourth best all-time in school history and had eight shutouts. In league play, Simmons was among the league leaders as she was 9-1-1 with a 0.52 GAA and six shutouts against SoCon opponents.
White also was named to the all-freshman team after scoring five goals and tallying one assist during the year. White scored her first goal in dramatic fashion, knocking off then No. 7 Wake Forest 1-0. After that performance, White earned SoCon Player of the Week honors. The Franklin, Tenn. native also scored the game-winning goal against the College of Charleston and Davidson in league play. White finished tied for second on the team with three game-winning goals and 11 points. The freshman forward led the team with 37 shots putting 13 on goal.
Rodriguez rounded out the awards for UNCG being named to the all-freshman team. The Franklin, Tenn. native moved to forward and immediately scored a game-winning goal in her first start against Georgia Southern. Rodriguez continued with a game-winning goal at Samford to help UNCG take over first place and backed up that performance with a two-goal effort in her home state of Tennessee against Chattanooga. Rodriguez became the third UNCG freshman to earn SoCon Player of the Week honors for her performance against Samford and Chattanooga. Rodriguez scored her fourth-straight game-winning goal to help UNCG clinch its ninth SoCon regular season title at Elon 2-0. She finished the season tied for the team lead with five goals.
Furman's Stephanie DeVita was named the league's player of the year and freshman of the year, while Elon's Chris Neal was the coach of the year.
Be sure to follow all updates about the 2012 UNCG women's soccer team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports.
2012 Women's Soccer All-Conference Team
Player of the Year – Stephanie DeVita, Fr., F, Furman
Coach of the Year – Chris Neal, Elon
Freshman of the Year – Stephanie DeVita, F, Furman
F Julia Holz, Appalachian State
F Stephanie DeVita, Furman
F Markie-Lynn Studnicky, Western Carolina
MF Mariana Garcia, The Citadel
MF Hannah Stanifer, Furman
MF Michelle Moll, Samford
D Zoe Van Gorder, Georgia Southern
D Cat Barnekow, UNCG
D Adrianne Mancino, Samford
D Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, Samford
GK Rose Hull, Furman
F Vanessa Aponte, The Citadel
F Lauren Hein, UNCG
F Brittany Hoffman, Samford
MF Sarah Schaidle, College of Charleston
MF India Robinson, Furman
MF Karin Sendel, UNCG
MF Trine Taule, Samford
D Julie Calhoun, Davidson
D Shannon Foley, Elon
D Ali Simpson, Furman
D Stephanie Partenheimer, UNCG
GK Jamie Simmons, UNCG
Samantha Childress, Appalachian State
Jannel Johnson, The Citadel
Jamie Alexander, Furman
Stephanie DeVita, Furman
Rose Hull, Furman
Nora El-Shami, Georgia Southern
Katherine Rodriguez, UNCG
Jamie Simmons, UNCG
Chesney White, UNCG
Alissa Hansen, Samford
Markie-Lynn Studnicky, Western Carolina