Five Named All-SBC, Rhoden Coach of the Year

November 4, 2003 · MT Media Relations
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Five Blue Raider soccer players were named to the All-Sun Belt squads, while sophomore Claire Ward was voted Newcomer of the Year and Aston Rhoden earned SBC Coach of the Year honors, as announced at the awards banquet Tuesday night preceding the conference tournament.

Rhoden, in his second year at the helm of the Blue Raider program, led the squad to a school-record 11 victories this season, including a program-high five conference wins, as Middle Tennessee tied for third in the league. The Blue Raiders earned the No. 3 seed in the Hardee's Sun Belt Championships that begins Wednesday with Middle Tennessee facing Arkansas-Little Rock at 1 p.m.

A pair of Blue Raiders were voted to the First Team, senior Emily Carter and junior Jessica Northcutt.

Carter ranks third on the club in points with 13, scoring six goals and adding an assist, and has three game-winners. The Evansville, Ind., native has played in all but two matches in her career and started all but four tilts in her four seasons and ranks as the all-time goals leader at Middle Tennessee. Carter also stands second in career points and ninth in assists. She has a pair of goals in SBC play, including a game-winner, ranking third on the club in points in Sun Belt action.

Northcutt, a junior outside defender, began the year as inexperienced as the three freshmen she plays alongside in the back, but has developed into the team's stopper, marking the opposition's best player in starting every match. Northcutt shut down Marilyn Marin of North Texas and Crystal Chapon of Western Kentucky, limiting two of the league's most potent scorers to a combined one point in the two matches this season. Northcutt's physical presence combined with excellent speed has limited touches for opposing forwards all season. She also is part of the Blue Raider defense that allowed just 24 goals in 19 matches for a 1.23 goals-against-average with three freshmen defenders starting in the back, and just nine scores in the eight conference matches this season.

Middle Tennessee's two leading scorers, junior Laura Miguez and freshman Rebecca Rodriguez, each earned Second Team honors, as did Ward.

Miguez, a speedy forward, ranks first on the squad in points with 29 and second in goals with nine, and leads the Blue Raiders in assists with 11. Miguez has a pair of game-winners this season, both in SBC play, in starting every match. She has become the Middle Tennessee career leader in points and assists this season and is for second in goals. The Dallas, Texas, native has also stepped in to play central midfielder and defender in SBC play when needed and has scored four goals with four assists in eight conference matches.

Rodriguez, the pintsized lightning rod, leads the Blue Raiders in goals with 12 and ranks second in points with 28, needing one goal to equal the single-season goals and points mark at Middle Tennessee. Rodriguez has a pair of game-winners this season and her goal in the 81st minute at Western Kentucky tied the match at one. She has also added four assists in playing in all 19 matches with six starts. She has scored in seven of the last 10 matches and in five of the eight Sun Belt tilts, scoring five goals with an assist in SBC play.

Ward has made a tremendous impact as a central midfielder, controlling play and setting a physical tone for the squad in starting every match. Ward has a pair of goals this season, including one in SBC play, and has been vital as the quarterback of the offensive attack. This marks the second straight season the Blue Raiders picked up Newcomer of the Year award, as Christina Mascaro earned the honor in 2002.

First Team
F -- Lleane Grimditch, Fr., Denver
F -- Marilyn Marin, Sr., North Texas
F -- Melinda Pina, Sr., North Texas
MF -- Melissa Behrent, Sr., Denver
MF -- Emily Carter, Sr., Middle Tennessee
MF -- Laura Mann, Fr., Denver
MF - Andrea Doogs, Jr., Western Kentucky
D -- Maggie Kirchhoff, Sr., Denver
D -- Jessica Northcutt, Jr., Middle Tennessee
D -- Jamie Norwood, Sr., Denver
GK -- Amber Angermeier, Jr., South Alabama

Second Team
F -- Jenni Harris, Sr., Denver
F -- Laura Miguez, Jr., Middle Tennessee
F - Rebecca Rodriguez, Fr., Middle Tennessee
MF - Charissa Gingerich, Jr., Florida International
MF - Rebecca Kahn, So., South Alabama
MF - Claire Ward, So., Middle Tennessee
D - Angela Carter, Sr., North Texas
D - Jenny Dalby, So., Western Kentucky
D - Megan Meade, Jr., Florida International
D - Krista Georgas, Jr., North Texas
GK - Marsha Stewart, So., Arkansas-Little Rock

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marilyn Marin, North Texas

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Lleane Grimditch, Denver

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Claire Ward, Middle Tennessee

COACH OF THE YEAR: Aston Rhoden, Middle Tennessee

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