Two University of Minnesota soccer players were named to the 2006 All-Big Ten teams as announced by the conference office today. Kelsey Hood was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as a midfielder, while first-year defender Lyndsey Mueller was a Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection. In addition, Kaitlin Wagner was recognized as Minnesota’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.
A sophomore from Ankeny, Iowa, Hood was one the Golden Gophers’ most consistent performers throughout the 2006 season and was a vital component of the team’s efforts on both sides of the ball. The quarterback of the Minnesota’s attack, Hood was one of the team’s top playmakers as she finished tied for second on the team with four assists. She ranked fourth on the team in scoring with eight total points.
Also a major factor on the defensive side of the ball, Hood helped the Gophers post seven shutouts and hold 14 of their 19 opponents to one goal or fewer. A team captain in just her second year with the program, Hood’s passion and leadership were invaluable on the youngest team in the conference. She was one of just five players on the Minnesota roster to start all 19 games in 2006. Hood has now earned All-Big Ten honors in each of her first two years with the Gophers. She was named to the All-Freshman Team last season.
Hailing from Urbandale, Iowa, Mueller was one of the Gophers’ top freshman performers in 2006. Faced with the tough task of being inserted into the starting lineup from the very first game of her collegiate career, Mueller was solid in the back from the beginning as she helped Minnesota shut out its first three opponents to start the season. Overall, she helped the Gophers post seven shutouts on the year and hold 14 of 19 opponents to one goal or fewer. She started 17 matches on the season, missing just two contests due to injury.
With Hood and Mueller earning All-Big Ten recognition this year, Minnesota had multiple players earn all-league honors in back-to-back years for the first time since 1999-2000.
A sophomore from Plymouth, Minn., Wagner was recognized as Minnesota’s Sportsmanship Award honoree. The student-athletes chosen for this award are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Wagner is now a candidate for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
A team captain in just her second year with the program, Wagner’s determination and leadership were invaluable on a roster loaded with underclassmen. Wagner finished the 2006 season as the team’s leading scorer with 15 total points. She scored five goals to tie for the team-lead and her five assists were tops on the team.