The Big Ten announced their all-conference honors for the 2016 women’s soccer season and Rutgers had five players named on various teams, as well as an honoree for sportsmanship. All of the Rutgers players honored this season are natives of New Jersey and comprised of three seniors and three freshman. Here is a full listing of the players honored.
Big Ten Freshman Of The Year
Nicole Whitley led the conference and was sixth in all of Division I with 9 assists in her first season of collegiate play. She also had 3 goals to finish with 15 points on the season, which is the second highest total on the team. Whitley is the first Rutgers player to be named conference freshman of the year since Carli Lloyd won it playing in the Big East in 2001. She is off to a great start to her career at Rutgers.
Big Ten First Team
Erin Smith - Defender - Senior
Smith has started 67 consecutive matches for Rutgers and is the only player to make the conference’s first team this season. The co-captain helped lead the defense and Rutgers shut out their opponents in nine of eighteen regular season matches.
Big Ten Second Team
Madison Tiernan - Forward - Senior
Tiernan led Rutgers with 22 points this season and finished fifth in the conference. She led the team with 8 goals and was second with 6 assists. The co-captain also delivered three game winning goals this season. She is tied for seventh all-time in program history with 60 points and ninth all-time with 22 goals. Tiernan has started 80 of 83 career matches at Rutgers.
Big Ten All-Freshman Team
Nicole Whitley - Midfield
Taylor Aylmer - Midfield
Amanda Visco - Defender
Having the freshman of the year and three players make the all-freshman team bodes well for the future of the program. Visco has started all 18 games this season and has been a key reason for why the Rutgers defense has continued to be the strength of the team this season. She also scored 2 goals. Aylmer only started 1 game this season, but was a key contributor, leading to conference honors. She scored 1 goal and 2 assists from the midfield position.
Tori Prager - Midfield - Senior
Prager is a co-captain along with Tiernan and Smith, having started 42 of 82 games played in her career. She is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She has been a stalwart in the midfield for the program the past four years.
Rutgers is the seventh seed in the Big Ten Tournament. They take on rival and second seed Penn State in Happy Valley on Sunday. To read more about the matchup against the defending national champions and Rutgers chances for returning to the NCAA Tournament, click here.