The University of Minnesota women’s soccer team handed out its yearly awards at their annual banquet held Sunday at the McNamara Alumni Center. The Gophers, who finished the season ranked 15th nationally, broke numerous school records during their 2008 campaign. Minnesota finished with a 22-4 (.846) record, a co-Big Ten regular season championship and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
Lindsey Schwartz was named the team’s offensive most valuable player for the fourth consecutive season. Schwartz led the team with eight goals and seven assists for 23 points. The Bettendorf, Iowa native finished her career as one of the most statistically accomplished strikers in school history. She caps off her career ranked among the top Gophers of all-time in every offensive category with 76 points (7th), 28 goals (7th), 23 assists (7th), 11 game-winning goals (5th) and 282 shots (2nd).
Kelsey Hood was named the Gophers’ midfield most valuable player after another dominating campaign in the middle of the pitch for the Gophers. Hood’s presence was key ingredient to the Gophers’ historic season as she cemented her reputation as one of the best ball-winners in the country.
Jennie Clark and Lindsey Dare were the co-recipients of the Gophers’ defensive most valuable player award. Clark was an All-Big Ten first team selection as a center back and Dare recorded a Big Ten Conference-record 17 shutouts and a program-record 0.45 goals against average.
This weekend’s banquet capped off a historic season for the Gophers. Minnesota posted a perfect 12-0 record at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul, including a pair of NCAA Tournament wins. A record 9,218 fans passed through the gates at ELR Stadium over 10 regular season home dates to watch a team that outscored its opponents by a 43-12 margin in 2008.
The 12 goals Minnesota allowed this season shattered a school record for fewest goals allowed, and the 43 goals scored were the most for the program in the past decade. The program also recognized its All-Big Ten selections Sunday, which included Hood (Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, first team), Clark (first team), Schwartz (second team), Lindsey Dare (second team) and Tamara Strahota (All-Freshman team). Strahota was also recently honored as a second team selection to Soccer America's All-American freshman team. Head coach Mikki Denney Wright also accepted her Big Ten Coach of the Year Award. Seniors Clare Grimwood and Kaitlin Wagner also accepted certificates which honored All-Big Ten Tournament selections.
Freshman goalkeeper Cat Parkhill was recognized for her gold medal as a member of the United States’ U-20 women’s national team that won the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup earlier this month in La Florida, Chile. Parkhill served a redshirt season this fall and will compete as a redshirt freshman for the Gophers in 2009.
Offensive MVP Lindsey Schwartz
Midfield MVP Kelsey Hood
Co-Defensive MVP Jennie Clark, Lindsey Dare
Spark Award Tamara Strahota
Teammate Award Carlie Edwards
Newcomer Award Krystle Kallman
Co-Ironwoman Award Kaitlin Wagner, Kylie Kallman