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NCAC 20th Anniversary Women's Soccer All-Decade Team Announced

NCAC 20th Anniversary Women's Soccer All-Decade Team

Ohio Wesleyan’s Katy Sturtz and Denison’s Meredith Rieder head an impressive list of stellar athletes named to the North Coast Athletic Conference’s 20th Anniversary women’s soccer team. Sturtz and Rieder are two of the 11 former NCAC Players of the Year represented on the 18-person squad. They are also two of only four four-time, first-team All-NCAC selections from the past 10 seasons.

Sturtz, a three-time Offensive Player of the Year (1998, ‘99, ‘01), guided the Battling Bishops to three straight NCAC championships between 1999-01. She handed Ohio Wesleyan the first of its two NCAA Division III crowns in 2001 when she scored the only goal of the championship game against Amherst. Sturtz owns the NCAC records for goals and points scored in a season and a career with (43 goals and 95 points in 1998; career: 112 goals and 248 points). She also holds several NCAA regular season (goals, season - 43 and consecutive games with at least one goal - 27 from 10/10/98 - 10/27/99) and tournament records (goals and points, game - 4 and 8 vs. Olivet in 1998; goals and points, tournament - 8 and 19, 1998; goals and points, career - 15 and 36).

Rieder earned Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2001. She and fellow 20th anniversary team member Dana Grandmaison led the Big Red to an NCAC championship in 1998 and to four straight NCAA appearances between 1998 and 2001. Grandmaison is a four-time All-NCAC selection, beginning her career as the NCAC Newcomer of the Year in 1998. She was a two-time, first-team pick and also garnered second-team and honorable mention nods during her four-year career.

The front line is filled out by Kenyon’s Hilary Marx, Wittenberg’s Karen Larson and Wooster’s Annie Gillespie. Larson made three consecutive appearances on the All-NCAC first team, while Gillespie and Marx were each two-time, first-team honorees. Both also earned second-team selections.

Allegheny and Denison each own two of the six midfield spots. Gators Jane Och and Allison Pyewell join Sarah Finke and Megan Whiteside of the Big Red. Oberlin’s Katherine Roberts and Wittenberg’s Kathy Aros round out the midfielders. Five of these six athletes were four-time All-NCAC selections between 1993 and 2001. Aros and Finke made four stops on the first team, while Och, Pyewell and Roberts each made three. Och and Pyewell both also earned honorable mention honors over their careers, while Roberts garnered a second team nod. Whiteside, who finished her career at Denison in 1993, was a first-team honoree and was named Offensive Player of the Year that season. She is first on the NCAC all-time list in assists per season (17, 1993) and career (41). Finke (2000) and Aros (1995) also picked up Offensive player of the Year crowns. Finke began her career in 1999 as the NCAC Newcomer of the Year.

Three NCAC Defensive Players of the Year join Rieder in the 20th anniversary backfield. Two-time winner Kelly James (1994, ‘96) of Wooster teams with Allegheny’s Liz Orr (2002) and Ohio Wesleyan’s Abby Jenkins (1999). 1997 Newcomer of the Year, Shana Ryan of Wittenberg, rounds out the defensive selections. All five athletes were named to the all-league team each of their four playing seasons. A pair of goalkeepers completes the all-decade squad. Earlham’s Shelly Holt, the 1998 NCAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Wittenberg’s b. Holt and Newlin were each voted first-team all-league three times between 1993 and 2002.

Denison, which has won three of the past 10 North Coast titles, and has won five overall, and Wittenberg lead the way with four players each on the team. Allegheny is next with three. Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster each placed two athletes on the team. Ohio Wesleyan has won five North Coast championships between 1993 and 2002, and seven overall, while Wooster won two over the past 10 years and four overall. Earlham, Oberlin and Kenyon each placed one representative on the squad. Four players selected to the 20th anniversary team span the conference’s two decades, having begun their careers before the 1993 season.

The North Coast Athletic Conference will be announcing 20th Anniversary teams in all 22 sports during the 2003-04 academic year. The NCAC was founded in 1983 and began competition in the fall of 1984. The North Coast’s commitment to equity, its broad base of athletic programs and an unwavering insistence on excellence in academics has served as a model for conferences throughout the country.

The NCAC’s 20th Anniversary teams were selected in each sport through balloting by present and former coaches and administrators. Athletes who participated in conference competition between the fall of 1993 through the spring of 2003 were eligible for selection.