Wednesday, August 08, 2012
MACON, Ga. - Kennesaw State's Katrina Frost and FGCU's Ashley Ciesielczyk landed the top honors of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer Preseason as the duo were tabbed the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. The league coaches voted FGCU to finished as the top team in the conference.
Frost finished her freshman campaign in 2011 with 11 goals, 24 points and three game-winning goals, which all ranked in the top-two of the conference. Ciesielczyk helped the Eagles to a share of the A-Sun Regular-Season crown for the second-straight season, while racking up the most assists in the league with 12.
The league's newest honor, Goalkeeper of the Year, went to Mercer's Nikki Atkinson. The junior finished last season with a 0.74 goal against average in 12 games played with three shutouts. Atkinson posted a .806 save percentage - good for sixth in the conference.
Jewelia Strickland, a sophomore defender, joined Frost on the preseason team, while Ciesielczyk's teammate Danielle Faller also received recognition on the squad as a senior midfielder. P.A. Upson gave the Bears two student-athletes on the preseason list after helping Mercer to an A-Sun Championship Runner-up finish in 2011.
Jacksonville and ETSU finished second and third in the preseason coaches poll behind the Eagles after the trio tied for the regular-season title last year. The Dolphins and Buccaneers both placed one student-athlete on the preseason team with JU's Emily Culbreth (2G, 1A) and ETSU's Ellis Parsons (14 GS). Both are defenders for their respective teams.
Kennesaw State and North Florida tied for fourth place in the coaches poll. The Ospreys scoring duo of Lauren Hopfensperger and Carolina Lencina netted spots on the team after each registered five goals in 2011.
Stetson's Colleen O'Kennedy completed the preseason team as the Hatters were predicted to finish seventh in the conference behind Mercer. Northern Kentucky, Lipscomb and USC Upstate completed the coaches poll.
Parsons was selected as the A-Sun Fan Preseason Player of the Year in a fan-vote conducted on the conference Facebook page, while the Buccaneers were picked to capture the regular-season crown by fans as well.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.