Louw wins SLC’s Player of the Year title
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:11
SFA senior midfielder Kylie Louw was named the 2012 Southland Conference Soccer Player of the Year for the third consecutive year by a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, the conference office announced Tuesday in conjunction with the release of the all-conference soccer teams.
A native of Discovery, South Africa, Louw finished the regular season leading the league in assists (12), second in points (26), third in points per game (1.53) and seventh in goals (7). Louw is the first player in conference history to be named player of the year three times and she becomes only one of five players to earn first-team all-conference all four years of her career. Louw holds the Stephen F. Austin school record for career points (95) and career assists (41). Louw also ended the regular season first in the nation assists per game (0.75) and second in total assists.
“Kylie’s award is special because she truly has earned the player of the year award the past three years,” SFA head coach Tony Amato said. “I have seen some players struggle with replicating successful seasons after being recognized early in their career, but Kylie has continued to improve her game and rise to the challenges that come throughout a college season. I am extremely happy for her and it is great to see her work ethic and talent rewarded by the Southland conference voters.”
Amato was also recognized for the Ladyjacks standout season by being voted the Southland Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons. Amato led the Ladyjacks to its second consecutive undefeated regular-season title and a school-record 15 wins. Amato ties Nicole Nelson as the only coach in SFA history to win the coach of the year twice.
SFA (15-3-0, 8-0-0), which claimed its seventh regular-season championship to earn the No. 1 seed entering this week’s Southland Conference Soccer Tournament, holds a league-best seven first-team all-conference team members, which is the most for one team in conference history. The Ladyjacks also placed one student-athlete on the second team, giving SFA eight all-conference selections overall.
“It is always special to get recognized as one of the top players in the conference,” Amato said. “I have the privilege of knowing our players and get to see their commitment to excellence every day, but to have other coaches pick them out among all the players in our league is very rewarding. Having them get recognized is even more special since they contributed greatly to one of our team goals and won the SLC regular season. We are fortunate to have these players in our program and I look forward to seeing them work together this week as we look to achieve more team success at the conference tournament.”
Joining Louw on the first-team for SFA are two-time selections sophomore forward Chelsea Raymond, senior midfielder Laura Sadler, senior defender Breanne Vernon and junior goalkeeper Lacey Lee. Earning first-team honors for the first time for the Ladyjacks is sophomore midfielder Zuri Prince and sophomore defender Megan Dunnigan.
Raymond ranked second in the league in goals (11) and third in points (25) and shots (67). Sadler was sixth in the conference in goals (8) and shots (49) and seventh in points (17). Lee, a junior from Bedford, Texas, led the nation in goals-against average (0.293) and second in the nation in save percentage (.917). Prince earned first-team honors for the first time after scoring four game-winning goals on the year and six goals overall. SFA defenders Vernon and Dunnigan anchored a backline that was one of the toughest in the nation to score against. The Ladyjacks ranked second overall in the country in shutout percentage (.722) and seventh in goals-against average (0.560).
Earning second-team all-conference recognition for the Ladyjacks is senior defender Leslie Shurtleff. The Southlake, Texas, native helped contribute to the SFA defense that posted 13 shutouts on the season.