Dec. 13, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama women's soccer team officially closed the 2012 campaign when it hosted the annual end of the season awards banquet at Chuck's Fish. Coaches, players, parents and administrators attended the dinner.
The Crimson Tide finished the season 8-9-2 overall and 3-8-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama earned key victories over No. 11 Florida, Georgia and at Kentucky. The win over the Gators was the first for the Tide in school history.
UA had three players garner SEC accolades as Merel Van Dongen became the first Tide player in school history to be named the SEC Freshman of the Year. She was also named to the all-freshman team. Sophomore Pia Rijsdijk was named to the second team while Katie Bourgeois also garnered all-freshman team honors.
This marks the fourth time Alabama has earned three All-SEC honors in the same season, tying with the last two years and the 2004 season for the most in school history.
Off the field for the fourth consecutive season, the Alabama soccer team garnered recognition for its work in the classroom as the NSCAA named the Crimson Tide to its College Team Academic Award list. To be eligible a team must have a cumulative grade point average above 3.0. Senior Josie Rix was also recognized for her community service.
At the banquet, four awards were given out along with the honoring of the senior class. Rix, Katie Woolbright, Kylee Brown, Lindsey Sillers, Kaitlyn Smith, Meghan Duffy, Ashley Willis and Megan Petersen were presented their jerseys in honor of their time at the Capstone.
The Coaches Award was presented to Sillers. The senior tallied five points on two goals and assist in 17 matches played.
The Defensive Player of the Year award went to Laura Lee Smith. In her first season on the backline, Smith helped the Tide post five shutouts while also holding opponents to one goal or less on 11 occasions. She also scored four points on two goals.
Sophomore Theresa Diederich was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Diederich tallied 15 points on seven goals and an assist. She tallied two game-winning goals.
Van Dongen, in her first season on the squad was named the MVP. The All-Region selection scored nine points on three goals and three assists.