Trio of Blue Raiders named to All-Sun Belt Team

Goeglein, Stallard, Thomas picked to Second Team

November 1, 2011 · Athletic Communications

NEW ORLEANS – Middle Tennessee’s soccer squad placed three of its players on the All-Sun Belt Second Team the conference announced Tuesday at the banquet preceding the tournament this week in Murfreesboro. Blue Raiders being named to the team include junior midfielder Paige Goeglein, junior defender Allison Stallard and redshirt junior forward Regina Thomas.

“I couldn’t be happier for our three players to be recognized by the other coaches around this competitive league,” head coach Aston Rhoden said. “Each one has been a vital part of our success and will help us tremendously this week during the tournament.”

Goeglein, one of three captains on this year’s team, earned her first All-Sun Belt nod after started 17 of the 18 games in which she has played. She has scored two goals for four points and added 32 shots, 14 of which have been on goal. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native netted both of her scores thus far a week apart against conference foes, tallying goals against Florida Atlantic (Oct. 7) and at Louisiana (Oct. 14). She also ripped a season-best five shots, placing three on goal, at No. 23 Tennessee (Sept. 2).

Stallard, a Colleyville, Texas, product, also garnered her first All-Sun Belt plaudit this fall. She is one of four MT players to start all 19 matches and from her defensive position has had a career campaign offensively. She currently is second on the squad with three goals, including two game winners, while tying for fourth with seven points. Her first score of the fall came at Auburn (Aug. 26), becoming the only Middle Tennessee player to crack the back of the net against the Tigers. After Thomas drew a foul inside the 18-yard box against Arkansas State (Sept. 30) in the home conference opener, Stallard put home the penalty kick, which proved to be the game winner. She added another clinching score at Louisiana (Oct. 14) when her free kick from 30 yards out found the top left corner of the net.

Thomas collected her second All-Sun Belt award, after receiving First Team recognition in 2010. She put together a career season for the Blue Raiders, starting all 17 matches in which she has played, scoring a career-best eight goals and totaling 17 points. Her eight goals featured one game winner and, along with the 17 points, are the tops among Middle Tennessee players, while she is second on the team with 42 shots. Two times throughout the season she has tallied a pair of goals in a game, the weather-shortened Alabama A&M (Sept. 11) and at ULM (Oct. 16) matches. She also has netted a goal in each of the last two contests entering the tournament, tallying scores at Troy (Oct. 23) and at Western Kentucky (Oct. 28). Her goal against UALR (Oct. 2) proved to be the game winner and she added the lone player score against FIU (Oct. 9).

The three honors raise the overall total to 43 Blue Raiders through the years to earn All-Sun Belt recognition, including 28 on the Second Team since Middle Tennessee joined the conference in 2000.

Denver’s Kristen Hamilton earned Player of the Year accolades, while FIU’s Ashleigh Shim was tabbed the conference’s Freshman of the Year. North Texas’ John Hedlund collected the Coach of the Year award.

The Blue Raiders will play host to the Sun Belt Championships, starting Wednesday, at Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium. Middle Tennessee, seeded fifth, will face No. 4 seed Western Kentucky in quarterfinal action at 7 p.m.

All-Sun Belt First Team
Bria Beardsley (Denver, Senior, M)
Nicholette DiGiacomo (Denver, Sophomore, M)
Kristen Hamilton (Denver, Sophomore, F)
Sam Harder (Denver, Freshman, D)
April Perry (FIU, Senior, D)
Kelsey Hodges (North Texas, Sophomore, D)
Ellen Scarfone (North Texas, Junior, M)
Michelle Young (North Texas, Junior, F)
Mallory Outerbridge (Western Kentucky, RS-Senior, F)
Ali Stahlke (Western Kentucky, Junior, D)
Libby Stout (Western Kentucky, Senior, GK)

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Paige Goeglein (Middle Tennessee, Junior, M)
Allison Stallard (Middle Tennessee, Junior, D)
Regina Thomas (Middle Tennessee, RS-Junior, F)

Kelly Ann Hutchinson (FIU, Senior, M)
Chelsea Leiva (FIU, Sophomore, F)
Ashleigh Shim (FIU, Freshman, F)
Kaitlyn Savage (FIU, RS- Sophomore, GK)
Jessy Battelli (Denver, Sophomore, D)
Kalie Vaughn (Denver, Junior, M)
Grace Howell-Harries (Louisiana, Freshman, D)
Kelsey Meyer (Western Kentucky, Senior, M)

Sun Belt Player of the Year
Kristen Hamilton (Denver, Sophomore, F)

Sun Belt Freshman of the Year
Ashleigh Shim (FIU, Freshman, F)

Sun Belt Coach of the Year
John Hedlund, North Texas

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.