F Autumn Wildung Houston Baptist Jr. Cedar Park, Texas FRISCO, Texas – McNeese senior forward Savannah LaRicci was named the 2017 Southland Conference Soccer Player of the Year, the league announced Monday in conjunction with the all-conference first and second teams. LaRicci picked up both Player of the Year and Forward of the Year honors as she led the league in every scoring category: 44 shots, 10 goals and 25 points against conference opposition. She also tied for fourth with five assists to her name. Her 31 points in overall games rank her 14th in the nation to cap the regular season. The senior out of Sugar Land, Texas, also netted seven game-winning goals in all games, ranking second in Division I. McNeese senior Gabi D’Alesandro earned Defender of the Year distinction as she anchored one of the conference’s top defenses in 2017. The Cowgirls ended the regular season tied for second with 10 total goals allowed through 11 league games. The Flower Mound, Texas, native helped McNeese to a league-best seven shutouts in Southland play. 2017 Southland Conference Soccer All-Conference Teams F* Lucy Ashworth Lamar Fr. Wigan, England Abilene Christian freshman midfielder Christina Arteaga was named the Freshman of the Year. The Pflugerville, Texas, native racked up 3.55 shots per game and 13 total points against conference opponents, ranking fourth in both categories. F Kelso Peskin Lamar Jr. Cape Town, South Africa Rounding out the individual superlatives is Lamar’s Steve Holeman, who was named the 2017 Coach of the Year. The second-year head coach turned his team around from last place to first place in one season – a feat that had never been accomplished in Southland soccer history and only four times in any league sport. The Cardinals finished 2016 with only one conference win then finished this season with a 10-1 SLC record, earning the regular season championship and the top seed in the conference tournament. For participating teams, individual superlative winners and all-conference honorees will be honored before their first games at the 2017 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas, taking place from Nov. 1-5. MF* Beryl Smith Sam Houston State Sr. The Woodlands, Texas D Marie Lund Lamar Sr. Bergen, Norway GK Lauren Lovejoy Lamar Sr. Port Neches, Texas Pos. Name School Class Hometown D Amelia Fullmer Lamar Jr. Pleasant Grove, Utah Newcomer of the Year went to Lamar’s Kelso Peskin. The junior transfer from Tyler Junior College (Texas) ended the regular season ranked second in league play in goals (seven) and points (19). Her 10 assists through all competition tied her for second in the nation. D Gabi D’Alesandro2 McNeese Sr. Flower Mound, Texas MF M.J. Eckart Lamar Sr. Flower Mound, Texas Three freshman earned selections to the first team, including Arteaga, Roccaforte and Lamar’s Lucy Ashworth. MF Hanna Barker3 Stephen F. Austin Sr. Farmers Branch, Texas MF Ellee Hall Houston Baptist Sr. Uintah, Utah Player of the Year: Savannah LaRicci, McNeeseFreshman of the Year: Christina Arteaga, Abilene ChristianNewcomer of the Year: Kelso Peskin, LamarDefender of the Year: Gabi D’Alesandro, McNeeseMidfielder of the Year: Hanna Barker, Stephen F. AustinForward of the Year: Savannah LaRicci, McNeeseGoalkeeper of the Year: Emma Roccaforte, McNeeseCoach of the Year: Steve Holeman, Lamar F Savannah LaRicci2 McNeese Sr. Sugar Land, Texas Stephen F. Austin’s Hanna Barker earned her second-straight Midfielder of the Year Award and was named to her third consecutive all-conference team. The senior out of Farmers Branch, Texas, ranked third in the conference with 15 total points, including six goals and three assists to pace the Ladyjack attack. D Baylii Bieke Houston Baptist Jr. Little Elm, Texas Freshman shot stopper Emma Roccaforte of McNeese was named the Goalkeeper of the Year. In her debut campaign for the Cowgirls, the Nederland, Texas, product helped marshal a staunch defensive third, registering four shutouts to her name. Before an 0-2 run to end the regular season, the Cowgirls went five consecutive games without allowing a goal. Roccaforte ranked as high as third in the nation in save percentage in 2017. GK Emma Roccaforte McNeese Fr. Nederland, Texas D Stacia Carroll2 Central Arkansas Sr. South Jordan, Utah Pos. Name School Class Hometown Regular season champion Lamar led the way with six total all-conference picks between the first and second teams. Runner-up McNeese followed with five total selections while Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist and Sam Houston State all earned a pair of honorees. Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin each garnered a lone all-conference selection. * – At-large selection2 – Two-time all-conference selection3 – Three-time all-conference selectionHonorable Mention: Defenders: Kennedy Rose, Stephen F. Austin; Megan Rickert, Houston Baptist; Carli Arthurs, Stephen F. Austin; Kristen Ricks, Central Arkansas; Christina Čutura, Southeastern Louisiana; Michelle Mulrooney, Abilene Christian; Peyton Bucklew, Abilene Christian; Whitney Woodward, Sam Houston State. Midfielders: Sophia Fondren, Stephen F. Austin; Shay Johnson, Abilene Christian; Casey Basso, Houston Baptist. Forwards: Ashley Smith, Central Arkansas; Sabriah Spencer, Houston Baptist; Brooke Erdmann, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Katelyn Termini, Stephen F. Austin; Havana Johnson, McNeese. Goalkeepers: Alanis Guevara, Houston Baptist; Lauren Mercuri, Central Arkansas; Allyson Smith, Stephen F. Austin. MF Nola Prickett McNeese Jr. Hemet, Calif. F Dylan Owens2 Abilene Christian Jr. Willard, Mo. MF Alex Moore2 Central Arkansas Sr. Yukon, Okla. Second Team MF Christina Arteaga Abilene Christian Fr. Pflugerville, Texas In total, there are six returning all-conference members, with Barker being the lone three-time selection. McNeese’s D’Alesandro and LaRicci, Central Arkansas’ Stacia Carroll and Alex Moore, and Abilene Christian’s Dylan Owens all earned their second all-conference team selection. First Team F Brittany Caserma Northwestern State Jr. Murrieta, Calif. D Nikki Schaaf McNeese Sr. Cypress, Texas F Carlota Suarez Crespo Sam Houston State So. Madrid, Spain The Southland Conference Soccer All-Conference Teams are nominated and voted upon by the league’s head coaches and SIDs. Each team consists of three defenders, three midfielders, three forwards and a goalkeeper, plus an at-large selection which is given to the next highest vote recipient regardless of position (not including goalkeepers). To receive honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.