SAN ANTONIO – Seven West Virginia women’s soccer players earned All-Big 12 recognition Monday, while coach Nikki Izzo-Brown was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and senior Bry McCarthy
was chosen Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
“I’m so proud to see a number of our players being recognized for the hard work they have put forth this season,” says Izzo-Brown. “We as a coaching staff get to see it every day, but for the coaches in this league to see it makes me very happy.”
In its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference, Izzo-Brown led her team to the regular-season championship with a 7-0-1 record. This season marks only the sixth time a Big 12 team has won the regular-season title without a loss. The Mountaineers are riding a 13-match unbeaten streak, while posting four shutouts in conference play.
The conference coach of the year award is the third of Izzo-Brown’s career, having won back-to-back accolades in 2001 and 2002 with the Big East Conference.
“I have so much respect for the coaches in this league,” says Izzo-Brown. “I often talk about the parity in the Big 12, and it is because of the coaching staffs. I am honored to represent the Big 12 Conference.”
McCarthy is the program’s first defensive player to earn a conference major award. The outside back has led the defense to eight shutouts this season, including four in Big 12 play. The four clean sheets are tied for best in the conference. She also has played a vital part in the offense, moving forward into the attack to score seven points on two goals and three assists.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Bry and the effort she has given to be our leader in the back,” says Izzo-Brown. “For her to win this award with so many great players in our league, it’s very exciting.”
Three Mountaineers landed a spot on the All-Big 12 First Team: defender McCarthy, midfielder Bri Rodriguez
and forward Kate Schwindel
. Each of the three had previously earned all-conference nods in the Big East.
Forward Frances Silva
was named All-Big 12 Second Team with her team-best 10 goals and four game-winners this season.
West Virginia landed three players on the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team: defender Leah Emaus
, midfielder Kara Blosser
and forward Kelsie Maloney
Oklahoma forward Renae Cuellar claimed the Conference's Offensive Player of the Year award, while Texas Tech's Janine Beckie was honored as Big 12 Rookie of the Year.
West Virginia garnered the most total selections with seven.
A full listing of All-Big 12 recipients can be found on Big12sports.com