Shugarts Leads GNAC All-Conference Team Selections
Sierra Shugarts led a Western Washington defense that only allowed 113 shots throughout the regular season.
Sierra Shugarts led a Western Washington defense that only allowed 113 shots throughout the regular season.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

PORTLAND – Western Washington junior defender Sierra Shugarts was named GNAC Player of the Year, leading selections to the 2016 GNAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference Team.

Western Washington wrapped up the GNAC regular season with a perfect record of 12-0-0 and earned four conference awards and placed four players on the First Team All-GNAC.

Western Washington head coach Travis Connell was named Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, while midfielder Emily Webster was Defensive Player of the Year and goalkeeper Ashley Homer was named Newcomer of the Year. Simon Fraser’s Emma Pringle was the lone player outside of Western Washington to take home an award, earning Freshman of the Year.

Shugarts, Webster and Homer played instrumental parts in helping the Vikings wrap up a tough regular season schedule with an unbeaten record of 17-0-1, finishing with a 17-match winning streak. The three lead a defense that has allowed only five goals all season for a 0.27 goals against average, which is on pace to break the conference record.

As goalkeeper, Homer was a key part in the Vikings’ defense, recording 23 saves, 11 shutouts and a 0.24 goals against average. The junior goalkeeper was named to the second team all-conference. Homer’s 23 saves, however, was the lowest of any starting goalkeeper in the GNAC, which is largely due to the help of the defensive line led by Shugarts.

Shugarts, a Second Team All-GNAC selection last year, became the veteran leader of that defensive line. She also scored goals in three consecutive matches this year, twice putting headers into the back of the net off free kicks from Webster. Those three goals helped Shugarts become the first defensive player in GNAC history to earn consecutive Defensive Player of the Week honors.

As a midfielder, Webster’s main contributions were on the defensive end and in helping the Vikings control possession throughout the match. Starting all 18 matches and playing a team-high 1,491 minutes, Webster also took many free kicks for WWU which led to three assists and a goal off a free kick from 25 yards out in the regular-season finale.

Western Washington was also represented on the first team by sophomore forward Gabriela Pelogi, who registered five goals and six assists, and senior midfielder Caitlyn Jobanek, who was tied for team-best in goals with seven along with four assists. That mark was tied with senior forward Elise Aylward, who was a unanimous pick to the second team and the only player to receive all-conference recognition for a fourth consecutive year.

Seattle Pacific’s Hannah Huesers was the only three-time selection to the first team, becoming the 21st player in conference history to be named to the first team three times. Huesers scored a league-best 10 goals this year with the 10th coming in the 100th minute of the regular-season finale to send SPU into the GNAC Championships for the fifth year in a row. Huesers now has 45 career goals, four shy of the GNAC record.

Along with Freshman of the Year honors, Pringle also earned First Team All-GNAC recognition after scoring nine goals, helping send Simon Fraser to its first GNAC Championships in program history. The freshman scored all the team’s first four goals to get off to a quick start to the 2016 season and scored game-winning goals in consecutive matches in the second to last week of the season to all but clinch the Clan’s berth into the tournament.

Simon Fraser and Seattle Pacific each had one player named to the second team. Clan sophomore defender Allyson Dickson helped the team produce nine shutouts in the regular season. The Falcons’ were represented by senior midfielder Kelly Gould, who had one goal and two assists in the regular season.

Central Washington finished the regular season as one of the top two teams in the GNAC standings for the second time in program history thanks in large part to their two offensive threats in the midfield, Keilin Farrand and Mackenzie Nolte. The pair earned First Team All-GNAC recognition after Farrand tallied five goals and six assists to compliment Nolte’s seven goals and two assists. The duo scored or assisted on a goal in each of the Wildcats last five victories.

Concordia boasted the conferences second best defense in the 2016 season, which helped the Cavaliers to a 10-4-3 record in 2016 with eight shutout victories. Senior goalkeeper Olivia Brock, a two-time First Team All-GNAC goalkeeper, was the leader of that defense and finished her career as the GNAC’s all-time leader in save percentage at .896. Brock recorded for shutouts and 62 saves and didn’t allow a goal until the ninth match of the season.

Junior defender Ana Delgadillo joined Brock on the first team as the leader of the Cavs’ defensive line. Delgadillo started all 17 matches and played a team-high 1,426 minutes. The Cavaliers were also represented on the second team by senior forward Bobbi Eckler and sophomore midfielder Gabbie Ewing.

Western Oregon’s senior forward Taylor Higa earned second team recognition after tying for third in the conference in points with seven goals and four assists. Montana State Billings was represented on the second team by senior midfielder Dana Lubieniecki, who led the Yellowjackets with five goals and 12 points. She was joined by her teammate senior defender Kari Kastelic. The pair each earned honorable mentions in 2015.

Saint Martin’s also had a pair of second team selections in senior midfielder Hannah Frakes, who scored five times this year, and senior defender Sara Massee. Northwest Nazarene had two players earn honorable mentions. Senior midfielder Sarah Jenkins notched two goals and three assists, while sophomore forward Madi Taylor added four goals and one assist.

The GNAC Championships will begin on Thursday at 4 p.m. at Simon Fraser Univ. on Terry Fox Field with No. 2 Central Washington taking on No. 3 Seattle Pacific.

Player of the Year:
Sierra Shugarts, Western Washingon
Coach of the Year: Travis Connell, Western Washington
Defensive Player of the Year: Emily Webster, Western Washington
Freshman of the Year: Emma Pringle, Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Ashley Homer, Western Washington

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+! Hannah Huesers Seattle Pacific F 5-10 Sr. Lake Stevens, Wash. (Lake Stevens)
* Emma Pringle Simon Fraser F 5-8 Fr. North Vancouver, B.C. (Windsor)
*@ Gabriela Pelogi Western Washington F 5-4 So. Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way)
*+ Emily Webster Western Washington M 5-6 Jr. Bellingham, Wash. (Sehome)
* Keilin Farrand Central Washington M 5-5 Sr. Ellensburg, Wash. (North Idaho JC)
@ Caitlyn Jobanek Western Washington M 5-2 Sr. Springfield, Ore. (Thurston)
#& Mackenzie Nolte Central Washington M 5-9 Jr. Marysville, Wash. (Marysville-Pilchuck)
*# Sierra Shugarts Western Washington D 5-9 Jr. Federal Way, Wash. (Decatur)
*#$ Allie Bohnett Central Washington D 5-5 Sr. Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor)
Ana Delgadillo Concordia D 5-6 Jr. Vancouver, Wash. (Columbia River)
*+ Olivia Brock Concordia GK 5-10 Sr. Olympia, Wash. (Olympia)
SECOND TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*@&% Elise Aylward Western Washington F 5-9 Sr. Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh)
Taylor Higa Western Oregon F 5-6 Sr. Manoa, Hawaii (Mid-Pacific Institute)
# Bobbi Eckler Concordia F 5-7 Sr. Vancouver, Wash. (Union)
Kelly Gould Seattle Pacific M 5-4 Sr. Everett, Wash. (Univ. of Nevada)
@ Dana Lubieniecki Mont. St. Billings M 5-3 Sr. Lakewood, Colo. (Bear Creek)
Gabbie Ewing Concordia M 5-7 So. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Hawaii Prep)
Hannah Frakes Saint Martin’s M 5-4 Sr. Boise, Idaho (Mountain View)
&@ Kari Kastelic Mont. St. Billings D 5-10 Sr. Phoenix, Ariz. (New Mexico Highlands Univ.)
Allyson Dickson Simon Fraser D 5-3 So. Burnaby, B.C. (Burnaby North)
Sara Massee Saint Martin’s D 5-8 Sr. Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor)
Ashley Homer Western Washington GK 5-9 Jr. Puyallup, Wash. (Coll. of Saint Rose)
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Jessica Haga Central Washington D 5-6 Sr. Bremerton, Wash. (Kiahowya)
@$ Abbie Litka Central Washington D 5-11 Jr. Issaquah, Wash. (Skyline)
# Whitney Lowe Central Washington M 5-4 Jr. Olympia, Wash. (Black Hills)
@ Martha Heaps Concordia D 5-8 Jr. Spokane, Wash. (Mead)
+ Shannon McMahon Concordia D 6-0 Sr. Lake Forest Park, Wash. (Bishop Blanchet)
Amanda Hemmen Mont. St. Billings D 5-10 Fr. Renton, Wash. (Liberty)
Sarah Jenkins Northwest Nazarene M 5-9 Sr. Everett, Wash. (Cascade)
Madi Taylor Northwest Nazarene F 5-4 So. Lewiston, Idaho (Treasure Valley CC)
Maddie Krauss Seattle Pacific F 5-4 Sr. Vancouver, Wash. (Northern Arizona Univ.)
Brooke Lancaster Seattle Pacific M 5-4 So. Lake Tapps, Wash. (Sumner)
Kaytlin Willis Seattle Pacific D 5-6 So. Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish)
Christina Dickson Simon Fraser F 5-3 So. Burnaby, B.C. (Burnaby North)
+ Katelyn Erhardsen Simon Fraser M 5-4 So. Maple Ridge, B.C. (Samuel Robertson Technical)
Priya Sandhu Simon Fraser GK 5-7 Jr. Surrey, B.C. (Tamanawis)
#$ Teagan Sokoran Simon Fraser D 5-8 Sr. North Vancouver, B.C. (Handworth)
Meli Cortez Western Oregon F 5-2 Jr. Salem, Ore. (Univ. of Idaho)
Caitlin Kastelic Western Oregon GK 5-6 Fr. Hillsboro, Ore. (Glencoe)
% Mariah Konyn Western Oregon M 5-2 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Marist)
Taylor Hallquist Western Washington D 5-5 So. Vancouver, Wash. (Columbia River)
Liv Larson Western Washington F 5-5 Fr. Arlington, Wash. (Arlington)


* - Unanimous Selection
+ - First Team Selection In 2015
# - Second Team Selection In 2015
@ - Honorable Mention Selection In 2015
! - First Team Selection In 2014
& - Second Team Selection In 2014
$ - Honorable Mention Selection In 2014
% - Honorable Mention Selection In 2013