(December 10, 2014) – After leading the Division I Nittany Lions women’s soccer team to a No.6 seed in the country, Pennsylvania State University senior Whitney Church was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America first team. Church also earned Big Ten Defender of the Year honors.
A 2011 Broad Run High School graduate, Church led a Nittany Lions’ defense which posted nine shutouts and allowed more than one goal only twice in Penn State’s 2014 campaign. Church started all 24 games for the Nittany Lions, logging a team high 2,106 minutes while scoring a goal and adding an assist.
Adding to the accolades, Church is a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy Award.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious award in college soccer and will be awarded to one male and one female on Jan. 9, 2015 after the top-16 female semifinalists are knocked down to the top-three finalists in mid-December.
During her Penn State career, Church started nearly 90-percent of the Nittany Lions’ matches and is the all-time leader in minutes played (8,243) in Penn State history. The Spartan alum was named to the All-Big Ten team following each of her four collegiate seasons and earned Big Ten Defender of the Year honors twice.
Other notes from the past weeks in college sports:
Church’s Spartan teammate and fellow Broad Run High School graduate Kacey Kelley (2011) earned third team All-Southeast Region honors from the NSCAA for her play with the Division I Chanticleers at Costal Carolina University. In 2014, Kelley started all 21 games for the Chanticleers while scoring 12 goals and five assists.
Stone Bridge High School graduate Murielle Tiernan (2013) was named first team All-Southeast Region by the NSCAA for her play with the Division I Hokies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Tiernan was also named All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) First Team while starting every game for the Hokies recording a team-high 14 goals and six assists. Church and Co. knocked off Tiernan and the rest of the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team on Nov. 23 in an NCAA round of 16 match up with the Hokies.
Tiernan’s Bulldog teammate and fellow Stone Bridge High School graduate Ashley Herndon (2013) was named third team All-Mid-Atlantic Region by the NSCAA for her play with the DI Dukes at James Madison University. Herndon was also named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team while starting every game for the Dukes recording a team-high six goals and adding a conference-high eight assists.
On the boys side, Loudoun County High School graduate Calle Brown (2010) has helped lead the University of Virginia men’s soccer team to an NCAA national semifinal on Dec. 12 against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. This season, Brown has started 18 games at goalkeeper for the DI Cavaliers while posting eight shutouts.
At soccer’s Division III level, Woodgrove High School graduate Victoria Perry (2013) earned second team All-South Atlantic Region honors from the NSCAA for her play with the DIII Captains at Christopher Newport University. In 2014, Perry scored 14 goals and added seven assists while starting all 20 games for the Captains. Perry was also named the Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year.
Perry’s Captains teammate and Briar Woods High School graduate Kira Warner (2014) picked up the Capital Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year award for her play at CNU. In her freshman campaign, Warner started all 20 games for the Captains while scoring two goals and an assist and playing a team-high 1,667 minutes.
Stone Bridge High School graduate Jon Allen (2013) also picked up postseason honors as the 6-foot-3, 272-pound defensive lineman was named to the first-team defense in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) by the Associated Press. Allen has four-and-a-half sacks, nine-and-a-half tackles for a loss and 31 total tackles so far this season for the Division I Crimson Tide.
Park View High School graduate Brandon Lee (2010) joined Allen in earning all-conference honors as the James Madison University defensive lineman was named to the third-team defense in the Colonial Athletic Association. During his redshirt senior year, Lee had seven sacks, 10-and-a-half tackles for a loss and 36 total tackles for the Division I-AA Dukes.
Lee’s Patriot teammate and fellow Park View High School graduate Robert Hayes (2010) has joined the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League at a defensive lineman/linebacker.
Another 2010 Park View High School graduate, Amber Kerico was named to the Capital Athletic Conference’s Women’s Swimming Silver Anniversary Team which was released as a 25th anniversary team in late-October. While swimming at the University of Mary Washington, Kerico won CAC Rookie of the Year in 2010-2011 and was twice named CAC Athlete of the Year.
In early season basketball news, Loudoun County High School graduate Brittany Batts (2011) has been nominated for the 2015 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team. Members of the Allstate WBCA Good Works Team have shown significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently in his senior year at Syracuse University. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.