– Senior goalkeeper Sara Keane
earned her second straight MVP award at the West Virginia University women’s soccer team’s season-ending banquet, held Saturday, Feb. 8.
Keane, a Mt. Laurel, N.J., native, recorded 10 shutouts in her final season as a Mountaineer, pushing her career total to 27, the third-best mark in WVU history. She was especially strong throughout the postseason, as she helped WVU record three straight shutouts en route to the team’s first Big 12 Soccer Tournament title. She also made seven saves and turned away three penalty kicks in the squad’s 0-0 double-overtime draw against Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 16. Keane recorded a 1.01 goals-against average, defending 232 shots and 89 corner kicks.
Senior forward Frances Silva
was named the team’s offensive MVP. An Overland Park, Kan., native, she was a unanimous selection as the 2013 Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Silva enjoyed a standout season, posting a conference-best 15 goals and 13 assists for 43 points. Her assist total set a WVU single-season record, and she finished her career with 98 points and 38 goals, each the fourth-best total in program history. Among her numerous awards, Silva was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA)/Continental Tire All-America Second Team and was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2013 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy. She was drafted by FC Kansas City in January’s National Women’s Soccer League College Draft.
Center back Kadeisha Buchanan
earned the team’s defensive MVP award. A freshman out of Brampton, Ontario, Buchanan made a name for herself throughout her first season. She started all 23 matches this year and collected the Big 12’s Defensive Player and Newcomer of the Year awards. Buchanan joined Silva on the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-America Second Team, becoming the first Mountaineer rookie to earn NSCAA All-America honors.
Sophomore defender Cari Price
was voted the team’s most improved player. Following a rookie season that saw her play in four matches, the Sykesville, Md., native made a bigger impact on the Mountaineers’ success this year, as she played in all 23 matches and started 16 at midfield. Price tallied her first four career goals this season, including two in the Mountaineers’ 4-0 win over Central Michigan on Aug. 30 and the game-winner at Baylor on Sept. 29. She also chipped in four assists, the third-most of any Mountaineer.
Senior midfielder Caroline Szwed
was selected for the Mountaineer S.O.C.C.E.R. award. The award is given by the coaches to the student-athlete who displays good sportsmanship, optimism, character, concern, effort and respect. Forced to sit out the last two seasons with an injury, the Oakville, Ontario, native saw time in 67 career matches and finished with 19 points (4 goals, 11 assists).
All other team awards were voted on by the student-athletes.
Saturday’s banquet celebrated the team’s Big 12 championship season and the careers of seniors Keane, Silva, Szwed and Kara Blosser
. In addition to their conference tournament title, the Mountaineers successfully defended their Big 12 regular-season title, giving them at least one conference championship in four straight years. WVU (16-4-3, 7-1 Big 12) finished the year ranked No. 12 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire College Rankings and advanced to its 14th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers concluded their season with a 1-0 loss at No. 1-seed Virginia Tech in the second round on Nov. 22.