NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Five players representing the University of Rio Grande were among those named to the 2017 River States Conference Women’s Soccer All-Conference Teams.
A 14-player first team and a 14-player second team – selected through balloting of the league’s head coaches – and individual award winners were announced by league officials on Friday night.
A Champions of Character Team was also selected.
Rio Grande was represented on the first team by senior defender Jenna Jones (Lancaster, OH), junior goal keeper Andrea Vera (Quito, Ecaudor) and freshman forward Payten Davis (Chillicothe, OH).
Junior defender Kelsey Lee (West Chester, OH) and freshman Chase Davis (Huntington, WV) represented the RedStorm on the second team.
RSC regular-season champion WVU Tech was the big winner in the individual awards with senior defender Ruby Bingham bringing home RSC Player of the Year and RSC Defender of the Year honors and head coach Stephanie Kot being named RSC Coach of the Year.
Bingham, from Melbourne, Australia, started 16 games for the Golden Bears’ defense, which ranks No. 1 in the conference. With Bingham as the anchor, WVU Tech gave up just 18 goals in 18 games during the regular season, including just six goals in nine conference games.
Kot, in her fourth year as WVU Tech head coach, guided the Golden Bears to the RSC regular-season title and the No. 1 playoff seed at 12-5-1 overall, 7-1-1 RSC. WVU Tech is tied for the most overall wins in the conference with 12 and is 9-1 at home.
Asbury (Ky.) University junior forward Emily Hubbuch is the RSC Offensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. The Shepherdsville, Ky., native won again this year with 16 goals, six assists and 38 points to rank as the second-highest scorer in the conference. She led the Eagles to second place in the regular season.
RSC Newcomer of the Year honors went to IU East freshman midfielder Dejhanna O’Bryant. She had 11 goals, six assists and 28 points as the fourth-highest scorer in the league. She won the award as the top vote-getter among all-conference selections who is new to the RSC.
WVU Tech had a conference-high four players on the All-RSC First Team. Led by Bingham, the Golden Bears also had forward Johanna Ribacke, goalkeeper Martha Reyna and midfielder Maria Gonzalez.
Following Rio Grande’s three selections, IU East and Cincinnati Christian earned two spots apiece. For the Red Wolves were O’Bryant and defender Brooke Conway and for CCU were forward and RSC points leader Maren Hence and midfielder Megan Klenk.
With one player each on the first team were Asbury with Hubbuch, Point Park (Pa.) University with midfielder Izzy Hunter and Carlow (Pa.) University with defender Rachel Flory.
Ohio Christian University led the All-RSC Second Team with four of the 14 honorees. Asbury was next with three, Rio Grande and Midway (Ky.) University had two each, and Point Park, CCU and IU East received one mention each.
The RSC Women’s Soccer Champions of Character Team selected one player from each school who best exemplifies the five core character values of the NAIA’s Champions of Character Initiative, which are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.
Rio Grande’s Champions of Character honoree was senior Kristin Garn (Morrow, OH).
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.