The Big Ten announced conference honors for the 2018 women’s soccer season and as expected, Rutgers was well represented. After finishing in second place during the regular season with a 7-1-3 record in Big Ten play, seven different players given various honors.
Goalkeeper Meagan McClelland was named Freshman of the Year after leading the Big Ten with 0.48 goals against average in conference play, as well as a league best 0.838 save percentage. She also produced eight shutouts overall this season, tied for the best in the Big Ten.
McClelland is the third consecutive Rutgers player to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year, following Nicole Whitley in 2016 and Amirah Ali last season. For more on her standout debut season, click here.
In addition, sophomore forward Amirah Ali was named to the All-Big Ten First team after tying for the league lead with 10 goals this season and finishing second with 23 points total. Minnesota’s April Bockin topped Ali and won Big Ten Forward of the Year honors on Friday. The two players will face off this Sunday, as #2 seed Rutgers takes on the Golden Gophers in the Quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Ali made the All-Big Ten Third Team as a freshman.
Captain and senior back Kenie Wright was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. She was also awarded the Sportmanship Award given to one player on every team. Wright was the leader of the stout defense of Rutgers and second on the team with five assists.
Rutgers makes up a good portion of the All-Big Ten Third Team, as junior midfielder Nicole Whitley, defensive backs Chantelle Swaby, a sophomore, and Madison Pogarch, a senior, as well as McClelland were honored. Swaby made the Second Team for a second consecutive season and just returned to the team after helping the Jamaican National Team advance to the 2019 World Cup, which will be the nation’s first ever appearance.
Joining McClelland on the All-Freshman Team is defender Shea Holland.
“We are very proud and excited for our student-athletes who were honored by the Big Ten,” said head coach Mike O’Neill. “To have the most student-athletes recognized in program history, especially in one of the top conferences in the country, is a testament to this team’s hard work and dedication. We are a family and when one achieves, we all achieve so this is a great reflection of the program as a whole, as well as the individual.”
Overall, Rutgers tied with Penn State, the regular season champion, with the most players named to All-Big Ten teams with seven each. It was the most players Rutgers has ever had honored since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
Rutgers begins it quest for a Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday, click here for our preview.