March 7, 2011
DEKALB, Ill.- Highlighting a 2010 season that brought the Huskies to their second post-season in three years, the Northern Illinois women's soccer team celebrated the year February 25, as the Huskies hosted their annual soccer banquet.
At the banquet, seniors Kaitlin Bujak, Caitlin Eucker, Kylie Revelle, Christen Schuler, Mo Smunt and Annie Wyer were honored for all of their hard work as Huskies during the past few years. Since the arrival of the senior class the players made an immediate impact on NIU. During their time in DeKalb, the Huskies earned a .671 winning percentage at home en route to three MAC Tournament Berths.
Three of the seven nine-plus wins seasons in NIU history came with the help of the seniors, including three seven-plus wins seasons on the Huskies' home turf. In 2008, these Huskies helped NIU to its longest unbeaten streak when NIU squad posted eight-consecutive victories.
The women's soccer team also recognized individuals with team awards and reflected on the team's highlights in competition, in the classroom and in the community over the past year at the banquet.
Team Individual Awards
Each year the women's soccer team honors five Huskies for their exceptional drive and work ethic as Huskies on the field.
At this year's banquet the Huskies honored goalkeeper Amy Carr as the Freshman of the Year. Carr started all 19 contests between the posts and was named Mid-American Conference player of the week twice, to become the second player in program history to receive the MAC award twice in a single season and the first Huskie to be given the honor twice as a freshman. Carr totaled 71 saves to own a .747 save percentage, and record seven shutouts to tie for third in NIU history for most shutouts.
The defensive player of the year honor was given to Lauren Eberts. Eberts was a member of the Huskie backline that held its opponents to a 0.390 shot on goal percentage, allowing just three goals on NIU's home turf. The sophomore helped hold Huskie opponents to one goal or less 11 times this season, en route to a 9-8-1 record that gave the Huskies a MAC Tournament berth.
Kelsey Passaglia was recognized as the Huskies offensive player of the year. Passaglia led the team in every category while recording four goals and three assists for 11 points. Passaglia also totaled 38 shots, 21 on goal, to hold a 0.553 shot on goal percentage. The junior also netted two game-winning goals in the 2010 season.
The Huskies award for most improved player went to freshman Lauren Solomon. Solomon started in contests against Creighton and Central Michigan (twice), while recording shots against both Bowling Green and Central Michigan and tallying a shot on goal against CMU. Solomon joins Eberts as a member of the Huskie defense that helped NIU to a 9-8-1 record and a MAC Tournament berth.
The Huskies final team individual award was given to Mo Smunt, who was recognized as the team's most valuable player. Smunt was named to the First Team All-Mid American Conference, becoming the first Huskie to receive the honor since the 1999 season, and the 2010 Academic All-MAC Team. The senior fired 25 shots, with 11 shots on goal, to rank third on the team in both categories. Smunt was also an instrumental part of the Huskie defense that went undefeated in conference play at home this season (4-0-1), while recording a 7-1-1 overall home record.
The Huskies squad has consistently been a part of the NIU streak of 11-straight semesters with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher. In the fall the Huskies ranked in the top three in the department with a team GPA of 3.2825. The Huskies also placed among the top four in the department with a team cumulative GPA of 3.2258. The soccer standouts received the College Team Academic Award from the NCAA for their team accomplishments.
Six Huskies have achieved a 4.0 GPA, with Annie Wyer, Mo Smunt, Meaghan Bennett, Lauren Eberts, Kylie Revelle, and Kaylee Heller each reaching the perfect 4.0 mark in either the past fall of spring semesters. These six Huskies join a list of 15 Victory Scholars, an honor achieved by maintaining a 3.50 or higher GPA.
During the 2010 season, Anne Wyer and Mo Smunt were each named to the Academic All-MAC team for their performance both on the field and in the classroom. Smunt earned the Academic MAC award for the first time in her career this past season, while Wyer received the nod for the second-consecutive season.
Earning a 5-5-1 Mid-American Conference record, the Huskies secured a sixth-place finish, out of 12 teams, in the league this past season. Their sixth-place finish led the Huskies to their second MAC Tournament in three years under NIU head women's soccer coach Carrie Barker.
The Huskies 2010 success can be attributed to an entire team effort as 13 Huskies registered points, 11 tallied goals and 10 were credited with assists. Defensively, NIU held its opponents to a 0.390 shot on goal percentage, while holding its opponents scoreless seven times to rank fourth in the league in shutouts. The Huskies also ranked fifth in the conference in both goals allowed (23) and goals against average (1.26).
During the 2009-10 academic year the women's soccer team logged 542 hours of community service. Their dedication to giving back to the community helped the Huskies finish second, of 17 NIU athletic teams, in the "Challenge of Champions." The Challenge of Champions is a department-wide endeavor through which HUskie student-athletes are encouraged to volunteer as part of CHAMPS/Life Skills.
The Huskies can be seen volunteering at Fun Fairs, Kids Day at the Convo, NIU Cares Day, Huskie Supporting Huskies and Relay for Life, among many other community-service events. The Huskies have also devoted their efforts toward raising funds and awareness for multiple cancer-research foundations, and took the initiative to start a Ronald McDonald House campaign at NIU.