Seven different players picked up awards as the Bowling Green State University women's soccer team celebrated a record-setting season with the program's end-of-year banquet Saturday night (April 27). The event was held at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
The Falcons won both the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2018.
Seniors Erica Hubert and Morgan Abbitt each picked up a pair of awards at the banquet. Hubert was named the team's Player of the Year, and also won the Attacking-Player-of-the-Year award.
Abbitt and junior Maureen Kennedy shared the Defensive P-O-Y honor, and Abbitt also was named the Players' Player of the Year.
Juniors Kathleen Duwve and Chelsee Washington were co-recipients of the Most Improved Player award, while redshirt sophomore Nikki Cox was named the team's Newcomer of the Year. Fourth-year Falcon Victoria Cope won the Leslie Dawley "Fighting Falcon" Award.
The majority of the awards are the result of voting by the staff. The Players' Player of the Year award is the result of voting by the members of the team.
The "Fighting Falcon" Award is named after Leslie Dawley, who entered BGSU in the fall of 2002 and played with the team during that '02 season before passing away in November of that year.
BGSU WOMEN'S SOCCER – 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP STORY
Abbitt, a team captain in 2018, started all 22 matches and led the Falcons in minutes played. She patrolled the field from her center-back spot in 2049 of this season's 2060-plus minutes, helping the Falcons to nine shutouts this season to date, including six clean sheets in 11 MAC regular-season matches. Abbitt played in a total of 78 career matches as a Falcon, starting 74.
Cope, like Abbitt a 2018 team captain, played in four matches off the bench, and had four saves and a goals-against average of 0.00. She was between the posts for over 107 minutes in 2018, after playing in 20 of the Falcons' 21 matches in the 2017 campaign. Cope had a 12-7-1 record as the Orange and Brown advanced to the championship match of the league tournament in '17. She finished her BGSU career with a goals-against average of 1.19, and she holds the program record for highest career winning percentage (.625)
Cox, a transfer from UNC Wilmington, joined the Falcons in the spring of 2018. She started all 22 matches in her first fall in NW Ohio, amassing 19 points on eight goals and three assists. Cox finished third on the team in goals, and was fourth in points, and the forward was second on the team with three match-winning goals. She scored both BG goals in the 2-1 win over Eastern Michigan in the quarterfinal round of the MAC Tournament, and played a key role in BG's advancing past Ball State in the final. Cox was tripped in the penalty area, leading to Kennedy's first-half penalty kick. And, after the match was tied through regulation and a pair of overtime periods, Cox converted a shot from the spot during the PK phase to help BG win the title. She was named to the MAC's All-Tournament Team, and she recorded the primary assist on the first NCAA tourney goal in program history.
Duwve started all 22 matches in goal in 2018, and tied the school record with 14 wins. She had 81 saves and a goals-against average of just 0.79. Perhaps the biggest save of her career to date is not included in that 81-save total, as she made a diving stop in the fifth round of PKs in that MAC Tournament championship match, when a Ball State goal would have given the Cardinals the league title. Duwve led the MAC in GAA, and threatened the school record in that category. In MAC matches, Duwve's GAA was just 0.49, as she allowed only five goals in 927-plus minutes, and had a saves pct. of .878 in conference clashes. She posted six complete-match shutouts and combined on three other clean sheets on the season.
Hubert, who joined Abbitt and Cope as a 2018 team tri-captain, scored a BG-leading 36 points (just two points shy of the school record) for the MAC champions, and was named the 2018 MAC Offensive Player of the Year. Hubert led the Falcons with 13 goals, and tied for the BG lead with 10 assists (tying the school single-season record in the latter category). Hubert is the first player in BG history with double-digit goal and assist totals in the same season. Her goal and point totals are the second highest in school history. In MAC matches only she led the entire league in goals (eight), assists (seven) and points (23), and she also paced the conference in shots (5.20 per game) and shots on goal (3.20 per game). Her final goal as a Falcon came at Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Championships. Hubert finished her career ranked second on the BGSU career lists with 40 goals and 95 points, and her career total of 15 assists ranks her 11th on that list.
Kennedy, the MAC's Defensive Player of the Year, finished third on the team with 20 points, and tied Hubert for the BG lead with 10 assists. That 10-assist total also tied the school record, a record she already shared. A BG player has recorded 10 helpers on four occasions, and Kennedy has now done so twice. In league games, she was second in the conference in assists, trailing only Hubert, and also was ranked among the top-10 players in the league in points. Three of Kennedy's goals on the season proved to be game-winning goals. She was named MAC Defensive Player of the Week three times in the month of October alone.
Washington had 27 points on the year, with nine goals and nine assists. She was second on the Falcons in goals and points, and finished third on the Falcons in assists. In MAC games only, she was second in the league in points (19) and tied for second in goals (seven). Washington scored a team-leading four game-winning goals, with all four of those GWG coming in an absolutely dominant five-match span. She had the game-opening goal four times in MAC play, and all four of those goals came within the first eight minutes of the contest. Washington was named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week on Sept. 25.
Abbitt, Duwve, Hubert, Kennedy and Washington all were named to the All-MAC First Team in 2018, and that quintet also was named to the both the USC All-Midwest Region Team and the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association All-Ohio Team
As mentioned, the Falcons won both the MAC regular-season and tournament titles. BGSU went 14-5-3 overall, tying the school record for wins and setting a new record for fewest losses in a season, and the Falcons were 10-1-0 in MAC regular-season play. BG won the league regular-season title for just the second time in program history, and the total of 10 conference wins set a new school record. The Brown and Orange captured the MAC Tournament title for the third time.
Since Fannon took the helm prior to the 2017 season, the Falcons are 27-12-4 overall, 16-5-1 in MAC regular-season matches and 20-6-2 in all games vs. conference foes.
For more information on the women's soccer program, follow the Falcons on Twitter (@BGAthletics and @BGSUWSoccer), Instagram (bgsuwsoccer) and Facebook (bgsuwsoccer) as well as on the web at BGSUFalcons.com.
BGSU WOMEN'S SOCCER
2018 TEAM AWARDS
• PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Erica Hubert
• PLAYERS' PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Morgan Abbitt
• ATTACKING PLAYER OF THE YEAR –Erica Hubert
• DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR – Morgan Abbitt & Maureen Kennedy
• MOST IMPROVED PLAYERS – Kathleen Duwve & Chelsee Washington
• NEW PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Nikki Cox
• LESLIE DAWLEY FIGHTING FALCON AWARD – Victoria Cope