The USA South Athletic Conference released its 2018 Women's Soccer All-Conference awards on Friday, and the Maryville College Scots claimed eight conference honorees and a pair of major awards.
The Scots' Bailey Sipos was named the USA South Player of the Year following her Rookie of the Year bid last season. She joins Head Coach Pepe Fernandez in the major awards, as the 28th-year coach earns Coach of the Year accolades.
Fernandez led the Scots to an unblemished 8-0 mark in USA South play, while Maryville earns back-to-back Regular Season Western Division Titles.
"The thing that I have learned at Maryville College from our kids is that you have to give credit where credit is due," Fernandez said. "We really have four head coaches that work here in Jon Baker, John LaCava, Hemant Sharma and myself. I think when you specifically talk about the coaches, it is a team effort. We are a team. We're not one coach. Anytime you get awards like this, you have to understand too, that it's a reflection of the type of players you have in the program. Soccer is a player's game, and when something like this happens, it's because of the players."
Sipos – the second-year Scot – earned Player of the Year after leading the USA South against league competition. Against conference foes, the Knoxville, Tenn. native notched eight goals and 19 points to lead each category.
"You always worry about the sophomore slump, because it's a real thing," Fernandez said. "We've seen it over the years. She did a few things to combat that. She came in in super shape. She works really hard, and it's very difficult to do. It's really difficult to have a good freshman year, because when you're a freshman, let's face it, you're afraid. You're trying to figure out what's going on. Then, you have a good year, and you might take a little bit of the edge off. She's not done that. She's worked harder and made herself better. She's stayed confident, even under double teams and defenses designed to stop her. She's been able to put the ball in the net, and being a goal scorer in soccer is one of the most difficult things in any sport. She's done that consistently."
On the year, Sipos posted 14 goals, three assists and 31 total points. She had four game-winning scores, as she earned First Team All-Conference overall and First Team Western Division.
A pair of players in Orange and Garnet joined the Hardin Valley Academy product on the First Team All-Conference overall and Western Division squads.
"They're impressive soccer player," Fernandez said. "They're impressive people. They are fun to be around, so they have a lot of different intangibles that other people won't see off the field. We see it every day. What they do on the field is very obvious. They are fantastic players."
Clothier had a pair of goals and a pair of assists on the season for six total points. She helped a defense led by Lukas that posted six shutouts.
Lukas was a key factor on the defense, as the Scots held conference opponents to two points. Maryville outscored USA South foes 32-2 on the year.
Forward Shannon Reagan was named to the First Team Western Division squad, as MC placed four players on that team. The junior ranked second on the MC squad with seven goals, while her five assists led the Scots. She had 19 points on the year, while tallying a shots-on-goal percentage of .553.
Abbie Anderson earned a spot as a midfielder, while MC's goalkeeper Abbey Coleman was also named to the prestigious list. These four key contributors rounded out the eight Maryville players to make the list.
The eight honorees was the most by any team from the Western Division.
"They are very deserving of it," Fernandez said. "I wouldn't trade any of them. There's some great players out there in the conference, and I wouldn't trade any of our girls. They have a winning mentality, and they are dedicated to fitness. They are dedicated to this team – they do a lot of team building stuff that we're not even involved in as coaches. They make sure the team stays together. The leadership, really, has not been a top-down leadership. It's not coming from the coaches. It's been a bottom-up leadership. It's been from the players, up. When you have that, things like this happen. You have the success that we've had so far."
The Scots' senior, Mackenzie Yaksic, was named to the leagues All-Sportsmanship team this season.
Other major awards included Covenant College's Kailey Burrell who was named Rookie of the Year, as she joins teammate Rachel Lemay as the first Georgian Scots to earn an individual honor in women's soccer from the USA South.
Burrell had eight goals and 20 points on the year, as the freshman dished out four assists and four game-winning goals. She was also named to the Second Team Western Division squad.
The Western Division would sweep the individual awards with Lemay taking Goalkeeper of the Year. The senior held a .844 save percentage with 119 saves on the season. She had seven shutouts logged on the year.
Maryville College will open the 2018 USA South Athletic Conference Tournament at home, as they host Meredith College on Saturday. First touch for the Quarterfinal matchup is slated for 3 p.m.