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Jones named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year

Mueggler, Howells honored as Second Team All-Conference

November 4, 2008 · David Powell
DENTON, Texas - Three Blue Raiders were honored by the Sun Belt Conference for their performances during the 2008 regular season highlighted by Shan Jones being named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year as announced at the pre-tournament banquet on the campus of North Texas on Tuesday evening.

Jones was honored as the conference freshman of the year as well as being named to the Sun Belt All-First Team. The talented forward ranks 55th in the nation in goals per game and 96th in points per game. Jones leads the Blue Raiders in goals scored, points, shooting percentage, shots on goal, shots-on-goal percentage and game-winning goals.

Despite being in just her first season of collegiate soccer, the Gwynedd, Wales native sits in eighth place in school history for most goals scored in a season and already finds herself in fifth place in school history for most game-winning goals in a career.

"Shan Jones has been excellent for us this season and has scored some crucial goals at the right times for us," Head Coach Aston Rhoden said. "It is great to see her being recognized by the coaches around the Sun Belt. We are confident that she will continue to show well throughout the tournament."

Sophomores Fran Howells and Vanessa Mueggler were named to the conference second-team after performing on an exceptional level this season in their respective positions.

Howells anchored a Blue Raider backline that is having one of the best seasons in program history. The central defender is part of a defense that ranks 67th nationally in shutout percentage and 72nd in the nation in goals-against average.

They have given up just 19 goals this season, lowest in school history. The sophomore leads all Blue Raider defenders in goals scored, assists, shots and shots on goal.

Mueggler has been a vital component to the Blue Raider midfield during 2008. The Pincourt, Canada native has started all but one of Middle Tennessee's 19 contests and has registered career-highs in both goals and point. She ranks in the top-five overall in the Sun Belt in shots, points and assists.

"Fran and Vanessa have been very solid for us in the back and midfield respectively," Rhoden said. "Both players have matured in their game from their freshman seasons and are truly deserving of this recognition."

Middle Tennessee faces off against Florida Atlantic in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Wednesday with kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Live audio is available free of charge on GoBlueRaiders.com and video available for $9.95 on SunBeltSports.org.

2008 All-Sun Belt First Team:
Taryn Hemmings (DU, Sr., F)
Shan Jones (MT, Fr., F)
Kelsey Perlman (NT, Fr., F)
Kendall Juett (NT, Jr., M)
Lizzy Carlson (DU, Jr., MF)
Kellie Walker (WKU, Jr., M)
Morgan Thomas (WKU, Jr., D)
Kelli Lunsford (NT, Jr., D)
Rachel Friedman (WKU, Jr., D)
Jessi Keller (DU, Sr., D)
Libby Stout (WKU, Fr., GK)

2008 All-Sun Belt Second Team:
Brandi Smith (USA, Fr., F)
Ashley Mannarino (FAU, Jr., F)
Kristin Cocchiarella (WKU, Sr., F)
Vanessa Mueggler (MT, So., M)
Jannica Tjeder (FAU, Sr., M)
Veronica Ayala (NT, Sr., M)
Bria Beardsley (DU, Fr., M)
Kelly Tarrant (USA, Sr., M)
Fran Howells (MT, So., D)
Carrie Blankenbuhler (DU, Sr., D)
Katrina Rose (FIU, Fr., D)
Mackenzie Snyder (DU, Jr., GK)

Player of the Year:
Taryn Hemmings (DU, Sr., F)

Newcomer of the Year:
Laura Hyvonen (Florida Atlantic, So., F)

Freshman of the Year:
Shan Jones (MT, Fr., F)

Co-Coaches of the Year:
Thomas Chestnutt, FIU
Jeff Hooker, Denver

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