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Brereton Named Sun Belt Player Of The Year; Five Blue Raiders Earn All-SBC

November 2, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MIAMI - Debs Brereton became the first player from Middle Tennessee to be named Sun Belt Soccer Player of the Year, and five Blue Raiders were named All-SBC during a pre-championship banquet here Tuesday night.

Middle Tennessee almost swept the league honors with Brereton earning Player of the Year; sophomore Lisa-Marie Woods being named Newcomer of the Year; and Aston Rhoden being named Coach of the Year for the second straight season. The only specialty award Middle Tennessee did not win was Freshman of the Year.

Additionally, Brereton and Woods were named first-team All-SBC, while Laura Miguez, Jessica Northcutt and Claire Ward earned second-team honors after helping lead Middle Tennessee to their first soccer championship since it became a varsity sport in 1996.

"All of these girls are well-deserving of such recognition and the honors they have received because they have meant so much to our team success this season," said Rhoden, Middle Tennessee's third-year coach. "We had other players I believe had strong credentials and could have been on the team but there are only so many spots. I am extremely happy, though, for the players who received awards because I know how much has gone into this season. Where I am concerned, the biggest award is the team championship we won (last Sunday) because that's something all the players played a part in us winning."

Brereton, a three-time SBC Player of the Week selection this season, was the clear choice for the league's Player of the Year. She enters Wednesday's Aeropostale SBC Championships with 16 goals, nine assists, and 41 total points. She is among the national leaders in scoring and goals per game. Her 16 goals already are a single-season record, as are the 41 points.

"I've very honored to receive this award," Brereton said. "I think it could have been any number of players on our team because we have several good players. I'm very appreciative, though, and my teammates share in this because they are the ones who set me up and gave me so many scoring opportunities. I'm happy for our entire team."

Woods became the third straight Blue Raider to earn Newcomer of the Year under Rhoden, joining Christina Mascaro (2002) and Ward (2003). Woods, a freshman All-American at Oakland University last year, has dished out seven assists and scored two goals this season. Her play in the middle has been instrumental in helping Middle Tennessee to one of its finest seasons ever.

Rhoden, who was SBC Coach of the Year in 2003, shared the award with North Texas mentor John Hedlund in 2004. Rhoden has a 32-23-4 mark in three seasons at Middle Tennessee and has led the Blue Raiders to a school record for wins (12) in consecutive seasons.

Miguez becomes Middle Tennessee's first three-time All-SBC selection. The senior forward who has been in a staple in the team's progress during her four-year career, has earned first-team honors once and has twice been named to the All-SBC second team. Miguez is Middle Tennessee's all-time leader in points, goals and assists. Northcutt earned All-SBC honors as a defender for the second straight season. The tough defender was a first-team selection in 2003. Ward is on the All-SBC squad for the second time, having earned second-team honors in 2003.

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