Cougars' Magner named co-Coach of the Year
Led by head coach Dan Magner, the University of Minnesota, Morris women's soccer team was well represented on the 2011 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) All-Conference teams.
Nine Cougars were honored among the league's best, including Magner who was named Co-Coach of the Year by his peers after leading the Cougars to their best season in four years, finishing as runner-up in the regular season, before ending the year in the championship game of the UMAC Tournament. He shared the honor with Northwestern head coach Josh Pettit.
The Cougars finished 11-7-1 on the season with an 8-3-1 record in conference play, tying with Northwestern for second in the final standings. The Cougars improved two spots from their fourth-place finish a year ago, also beating their third-place ranking in the preseason. The Cougars fell twice by one goal to the Eagles in the regular season, before scoring a 2-0 win in the postseason.
Earning first-team All-UMAC accolades is a trio of Cougars in Zoe Bergstrom of Westminster, Colo., Katie Kestner of Phoenix, Ariz., and Leah Parker of Minnetonka, with Bergstrom and Parker gaining the nod for the second straight season.
Three Morris newcomers landed on the second team, including freshmen Ally Heida of Coon Rapids, Christina Mollan of Menomonie, Wis., and junior transfer RiAnne Metz of Bismarck, N.D. Rachel Berns of Stillwater was named Honorable Mention, with Crystal Zastrow of Carlos earning the Sportsmanship Award, for best exemplifying the trait.
Just a sophomore, Bergstrom earns first-team honors for the second time in as many seasons, while Parker closes her career on the first team in each of her final two campaigns. The two once again led the Cougars in scoring with Parker scoring a team-high seven goals and Bergstrom netting a team-high nine assists. They finished tied for the team lead with 15 points each, also ranking in the top 10 of the UMAC.
Kestner makes it for the first time in her career, after anchoring a defense that pitched nine shutouts, and ranked second in the UMAC in goals against average (0.96). Late in the season - as the Cougars rose to second in the standings - the defense recorded four consecutive shutouts, allowing an average of just 2.5 shots per game.
Second team honoree Metz, also paced the defense, stepping between the pipes in her first season with the team and posting a .771 save percentage with 64 total saves and a 0.97 goals against average. Only four times did she allow multiple goals, while recording 10 or more saves in three games.
Also on the second team, Heida and Mollan started 19 and 16 games each in their rookie campaigns, with Mollan finishing third in scoring with 14 points, and Heida sixth, with eight. Mollan's six goals were second while Heida's four were third, including five combined game-winners.
Conference champion, St. Scholastica led the way with seven total athletes honored, including six on the first team. The Saints also boasted the Offensive Player of the Year in Kelsey Kehtel, who also earned Rookie of the Year honors. The Saints' Megan Felsvig was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the honor with Bridget Couwenhoven of Northwestern.