SLU’s McBride named Southland Coach of the Year, five Lady Lions earn All-Southland honors

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FRISCO, Texas – Southeastern Louisiana women’s soccer head coach Chris McBride was named Southland Conference Coach of the Year while Dalton Fish, Megan Gordon, Emma Jones, Mya Guillory and Makenzie Maher all were named to the 2020 All-Southland Conference Women’s Soccer team, the league office announced Monday.

Jones, Fish and Gordon each earned first team All-Southland selections while Guillory and Maher were named to the second team. Maher was selected as Southland Newcomer of the Year while Jones was Freshman of the Year.

“I’m extremely excited for our student athletes for their accomplishments this year,” said McBride. “The whole team has worked tirelessly since August to not have the season we had in 2019 and I’m very proud of the team’s improvements this year.”

McBride, in his fourth year as Lady Lions head coach, helped guide SLU (6-2-3 Southland) to an eight-match unbeaten streak (5-0-3) to end the regular season. Despite being picked 11th in the preseason poll, SLU finished fifth in the standings punching their ticket to the Southland Conference Tournament. The eight-game conference unbeaten streak is the longest in the 25-year history of the Southeastern soccer program. SLU also finished with an unbeaten record at home (5-0-1).

Jones, a defender, started all 11 matches and played in all but one minute for the entire season as she was tabbed Freshman of the Year in the conference. The Dripping Springs, Texas native helped the SLU defense to five shutouts in 11 matches, including a streak of 574 minutes without allowing a goal.

“Emma arrived in August very eager to start her college career,” said McBride. “And immediately had an impact. She came in and worked relentlessly all fall and earned a starting spot this spring, she’s helped push the whole team to be defensively sound this year.”

Fish, also a defender, started all 11 matches as well playing all but 10 minutes for the season. The junior was a vital piece of the Lady Lions’ backline that allowed just three goals in the last eight matches.

Gordon, out of Clophill, England, had played every minute of every match including six overtimes before the season finale against Nicholls. Her senior leadership and ability to break up opponent’s attacks and create attacks for SLU was instrumental.

Guillory, a sophomore, led the Lady Lions with six goals. The Prairieville, Louisiana native ranked in the top five in the Southland in goals, points (15), shots (35) and game winning-goals (2). The second-team All-Southland selection scored the golden goal in the SLU’s season opening victory over Lamar, 3-2, in double overtime.

Maher, the newly crowned conference Newcomer of the Year, scored five goals on the season and in five different matches. The sophomore led the team in shots on goal with 17, which was fifth in the Southland. A Denham Springs, Louisiana native, Maher accounted for nearly one-third of SLU’s goals scored.

“Makenzie was another player who was very eager to get started this year,” said McBride. “She’s been craving feedback all year on her performances and worked very hard on her game. Her aggressiveness and work rate have helped our whole team create some attacking opportunities this year.”

Monday marks the first time since the 2014 season that the Lady Lions got five or more on the All-Southland team.

McBride and the Lady Lions will now turn their attention to the Southland Conference Tournament. SLU will take on fourth-seeded Northwestern State (9-3-1, 7-3-1 Southland) Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Beaumont, Texas.

2020 Southland Conference Soccer All-Conference Teams/Individual Superlatives

Player of the Year:  Esther Okoronkwo, Lamar
Freshman of the Year:  Emma Jones, Southeastern Louisiana
Newcomer of the Year: Makenzie Maher, Southeastern Louisiana
Defender of the Year: Nicole Henry, Northwestern State
Midfielder of the Year: Madison Ledet, Lamar
Forward of the Year:  Esther Okoronkwo, Lamar
Goalkeeper of the Year: Acelya Aydogmus, Northwestern State
Coach of the Year: Christopher McBride, Southeastern Louisiana

First Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
D Hallie Field2 Northwestern State So. Frisco, Texas
D Dalton Fish SLU Jr. Pflugerville, Texas
D Nicole Henry2 Northwestern State Jr. Tomball, Texas
D Jamie Jezierski Stephen F. Austin R-Fr. Spring, Texas
D Emma Jones SLU Fr. Dripping Springs, Texas
MF Isabella Beletic2 UIW Sr. Corpus Christi, Texas
MF Megan Gordon SLU Sr. Clophill, England
MF Madison Ledet2 Lamar Sr. Nederland, Texas
MF Alexis Weaver Northwestern State Sr. Venice, Fla.
F Christina Arteaga4 Abilene Christian Sr. Pflugerville, Texas
F Emma Hawkins2 Central Arkansas So. Forney, Texas
F Esther Okoronkwo2 Lamar R-Sr. Richmond, Texas
F Katelyn Termini2 Stephen F. Austin Sr. Frisco, Texas
GK Acelya Aydogmus Northwestern State Jr. Cape Coral, Fla.

Second Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
D Eve Clarkson UIW So. Whalley, England
D Sophia Manibo2 Lamar Sr. Beaumont, Texas
D Meg Sheppard Lamar So. Nederland, Texas
MF Natalie Jones2 Abilene Christian So. Lubbock, Texas
MF Brooke Jones Sam Houston So. Aledo, Texas
MF Kaisa Juvonen2 Lamar So. Tampere, Finland
MF Megan Paul Abilene Christian R-Sr. Wylie, Texas
F Mya Guillory SLU So. Prairieville, La.
F Havana Johnson3 McNeese Sr. Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
F Christine Kitaru Lamar Jr. Nairobi, Kenya
F Makenzie Maher SLU So. Denham Springs, La.
GK Nicole Panis Lamar So. Opmeer, Netherlands

Third Team

Pos. Name School Class Hometown
D Ellen Joss Abilene Christian Jr. Louisville, Ky.
D Paige Kanipes Stephen F. Austin Jr. Houston, Texas
D Megan Rickert Houston Baptist Sr. Round Rock, Texas
D Gabby Symmank Abilene Christian Sr. McKinney, Texas
MF Abby Gibson Central Arkansas So. Magnolia, Texas
MF Caylon McMillan Stephen F. Austin R-Sr. Forney, Texas
MF Sophie Smith Stephen F. Austin R-So. Colleyville, Texas
MF Hannah Walsh2 UIW So. Preston, England
F Destiny Davis Stephen F. Austin Sr. San Antonio, Texas
F Olivia Draguicevich Northwestern State So. Pflugerville, Texas
F Teia Haynes Stephen F. Austin Jr. Cypress, Texas
F Sierra Wannamaker UIW Fr. San Antonio, Texas
GK Madeline Talbot2 Stephen F. Austin Sr. Shreveport, La.

2 – Two-time all-conference selection
3 – Three-time all-conference selection
4 – Four-time all-conference selection

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