Greg Henson – Coach of the Year
Lindsey Carley (Defensive Player of the Year)
SEWARD, Neb. – An impressive haul of postseason honors rolled in Monday (Nov. 13) for the GPAC regular-season champion Concordia University women’s soccer team. Major awards were handed out to sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Carley, the GPAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Greg Henson, the GPAC Coach of the Year. Carley was joined on the GPAC’s first team by fellow Bulldogs in junior midfielder Maria Deeter and freshman defender Chelsea Bright.
Concordia also placed two players on the all-conference second team: junior midfielder Lauren Martin and freshman forward Kaitlyn Radebaugh. Honorable mention accolades were awarded to sophomore forward Sami Birmingham and to freshmen midfielders Tori Cera and Michaela Twito.
Henson picked up a coaching honor that was long overdue. Having just finished his fifth season leading the Bulldogs, Henson has led the program to three conference championships (two postseason, one regular season), two national tournament berths and a total of 60 wins over the past four years. The 2017 team went unbeaten (9-0-1) through conference regular season action and earned the GPAC’s No. 1 seed.
Carley is the second player in program history to earn a conference player of the year award and is the first since Jennifer Davis garnered GPAC player of the year honors in 2003. It’s been a remarkable defensive run for Carley and the Bulldogs. A three-time GPAC player of the week and a national player of the week once this season, Carley starred for a squad that allowed just one goal during the entire 10-game GPAC regular season run. A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Carley ranked ninth nationally in goals against average (0.490). While starting 17 games and playing nearly 1,500 minutes, Carley posted a .909 save percentage (80 saves) and was credited with seven shutouts.
Voted the team MVP in 2015 and 2016, Deeter was a finalist for the GPAC Offensive Player of the Year honor. This marks her second-straight appearance on the GPAC’s first team after collecting second team recognition as a freshman in 2015. This season the Seward native set career highs for goals (10) and assists (10) while starting all 21 games. Over 63 career games played, Deeter has totaled 23 goals and 21 assists. She is likely to be named an all-region choice for the third-consecutive year.
Bright, who hails from Van Meter, Iowa, quickly acquitted herself in her first season as a collegiate player. Bright served as another major reason why GPAC opponents struggled mightily to score on Concordia. Bright started all 21 games at center back, alongside senior Leah Shohat. As a team, the Bulldogs ranked 15th nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game (0.67).
Martin, a native of Longmont, Colo., was one of seven Bulldogs to produce at least five goals this fall. She finished with six goals and six assists as one of six players to start each game this season. Three of her goals were game winners, including her highlight reel goal that lifted Concordia over Morningside in the GPAC quarterfinals. A transfer from St. Cloud State University (Minn.), Marting has tallied eight goals and eight assists in 43 career games as a Bulldog.
Radebaugh, who calls Roca, Neb., home, filled the role of offensive sparkplug off the bench for this year’s squad. She finished second on the team with nine goals, including three game winners. The Norris High School product emerged as a hero in two of the season’s most significant contests – 1-0 wins over Midland and Hastings. Radebaugh turned in the lone goal in both outings. She saw action in all 21 games.
A first team All-GPAC performer and all-region selection as a freshman last season, Birmingham (Johnston, Iowa) registered eight goals and four assists while starting all 21 games this season. She contributed three game-winning goals and collected one GPAC offensive player of the week honor. Cera (Las Vegas, Nev.) put up five goals and five assists as another constant in the starting lineup. She had a hat trick in the win at Waldorf University (Iowa) and was named GPAC offensive player of the week as a result. Twito (Ames, Iowa) shined in her rookie season. She chipped in with one goal and two assists while making 19 starts.