Nine Women's Soccer Players Earn Missouri Valley Conference Honors

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Andrea Zuniga
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Nine different women's soccer players have been honored by the Missouri Valley Conference, as the league handed out the awards at the pre-tournament banquet on Thursday night.  Senior's Andrea Zuniga and Erin Gunther join junior Brittney Neumann on the first team, while senior's Macy Mauer and Alicia Montgomery picked up second team honors.  Sophomore Lauren Cingoranelli joins senior Beth Fyles as honorable mention and both of Creighton's freshmen, Stephanie Anasi and Madelyn Buckner, were named to the All-Freshman Team.

For the second straight year, Neumann and Zuniga both garnered first team honors.  The duo again led the team in scoring and points, as Neumann scored eight goals, dishing off one assist for 17 total points, and Zuniga notched five goals, one assist for 11 points.  Neumann finished tied for second in the league in goals, as Zuniga finished tied for fifth.  Each player recorded three match-winning goals, tying with each other for third in the league.

Joining the scoring duo on the first team is Gunther, who picks up her third Valley honor in her time at Creighton.  Gunther turned into one of the most physical defensive players in the league, often times creating plays in the midfield to lead to an offensive charge.  She finished the season with a goal and four assists.  Gunther was named to the MVC honorable mention a season ago, while also picking up All-Tournament team honors.

Two of Creighton's defensive leaders, Mauer and goalkeeper Montgomery, each were named to the second team, after the defense finished third in the conference in goals against average (1.18) and goals allowed, 21 in 18 matches.  It is the first time Mauer has picked up the postseason award since she was named to the All-Freshman team following the 2008 season, while Montgomery was named second team in 2009 and honorable mention in 2010.  Mauer led the Jays in minutes played this season. 

In goal, Montgomery moved into third place all-time with 22 career shutouts, posting seven of her own this season.  She will leave Creighton with the top spot in goals against average, posting a 0.83 gaa over her four years.

Picking up Valley accolades for the second time each, Cingoranelli and Fyles land themselves on the honorable mention list.  After being named the MVC Tournament MVP last season and to the second team, Cingoranelli earns her second MVC honor in as many seasons as a Jay.  She led the team and finished tied for third in the league in assists (6), ending the season with six points. 

Fyles turned in one of the top improvement performances this season, scoring a goal and dishing out two assists while starting in all 18 matches.  She finished the season with the third most minutes on the field, 1,582. 

For the first time since 2008 (when Mauer and Gunther both picked up the award) two Bluejay freshman were named to the All-Freshman team.  Anasi and Buckner each put in solid season's in their first campaign's in blue and white, giving way to a positive future for the women's soccer team.  Anasi started in seven of the final eight matches on the season, scoring her lone goal of the season in that stretch.  She played in 16 of the 18 matches on the season, seeing most of her playing time in the front line.

Second on the team with 1,635 minutes played this season, Buckner was a starter from the get-go.  Helping to replace a key cog in the defensive four, Buckner started all 18 matches this season in the center back position.  She was a solid part in helping the Jays post nine shutouts on the season, a number that currently leads the MVC. 

The Jays finished the season with a 9-6-3 record, 4-1-1 in Valley play.  They finished the regular season in a tie for second place, earning the number three seed for the Valley tournament based on a head-to-head tiebreaker.  A shootout in the quarterfinal, with Northern Iowa taking the 5-3 advantage, knocked the Bluejays out of the tournament in the opening round.  The Jays will lose nine seniors off this years team, two defenders, three each at midfield and forward, and one goalkeeper.

FIRST TEAM
F – Rachel Tejada, Illinois State
F – Jessica Carlson, Illinois State
F – Brittney Neumann, Creighton
M – Andrea Zuniga, Creighton
M – Erin Gunther, Creighton
M – Anna Stinson, Illinois State
M – Seyma Erinli, Indiana State
D – Natalie McCabe, Illinois State
D – Grace Cross, Missouri State
D – Megan Fisher, Drake
G – Jessica Teahan, Missouri State
 
SECOND TEAM
F – Breanna Biene, Evansville
F – Kyla Cross, Illinois State
F – Bethany Smith, Missouri State
M – Michelle Sommer, Missouri State
M – Laura Moklestad, Drake
M – Melissa Hagan, UNI
D – Macy Mauer, Creighton
D – Sam Conrad, Evansville
D – Nia Williams, Missouri State
D – Kristin Cooley, Illinois State
D – Sam Copley, UNI
G –Alicia Montgomery, Creighton
G – Kalena Litch, Drake
 
Honorable Mention
F – Lauren Cingoranelli, Creighton
M – Beth Fyles, Creighton
M – Stephanie Thompson, Evansville
M – Rachel Bostick, Illinois State
D – Shelby Troyer, Indiana State
D – Kelsey Fouch, Missouri State
D – Missy Journot, UNI
G – Chaviel Harrison, Evansville
 
All-Freshman Team
Stephanie Anasi, Creighton
Madelyn Buckner, Creighton
Tori Flynn, Drake
Kelsey Fouch, Missouri State
Caitlyn Fuller, UNI
Gabbi McArtor, Illinois State
Aryn Newsom, Illinois State
Tatiana Pagan, Evansville
Bethany Smith, Missouri State
Rachel Tejada, Illinois State
Natalie Vaught, Indiana State
Aimee Wronski, Illinois State
 
Player of the Year – Rachel Tejada, Illinois State
Defensive Player of the Year – Natalie McCabe, Illinois State
Goalkeeper of the Year – Jessica Teahan, Missouri State
Freshman of the Year – Rachel Tejada, Illinois State
MVC Fair Play Award – Drake/Illinois State (fewest cards in conference play)
Coaching Staff of the Year – Illinois State
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