Wednesday, November 28, 2012
After a standout season for the University of North Carolina, leading the Tar Heels to this weekend’s College Cup, the New Jersey Wildcats’ Amber Brooks claimed the TopDrawerSoccer.com Upperclass Player of the Year award, announced on Wednesday by the nation’s top youth and college soccer website.
Brooks had two goals and three assists for the Wildcats this summer in the W-League, and played a key role both defensively and in attack for the Tar Heels this fall. Surrounded by a young squad, Brooks displayed strong leadership while playing both as a center back and midfielder, and also continued to display her scoring touch while bagging seven goals and six assists through last weekend’s victory at BYU in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
Brooks was one of six current and former W-League players to be selected to the TDS Upperclassmen Team of the Season, with her Wildcats’ teammate and Penn State standout Maya Hayes also earning selection. Hayes, the W-League’s Player of the Week on June 7 and a member of the U.S. U20 World Cup-winning squad, has scored 15 goals in 18 games for the Nittany Lions this fall.
Hayes was joined on the team by Penn State teammate and former D.C. United Women standout Christine Nairn, who along with Hayes led the Nittany Lions to the College Cup with 16 goals and 11 assists this season.
Former Long Island Rough Riders standout Crystal Dunn also earned selection after her strong play alongside Brooks at UNC, while LA Strikers forward Zakiya Bywaters was named after she led UCLA to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Former Minnesota Lightning defender Kassey Kallman rounded out the group after leading a Florida State defense that has conceded only 13 goals in 23 games this season.
An additional nine current and former W-League players were selected to the TDS Upperclass Second and Third Teams, led by the Pali Blues’ Rachel Quon on the Second Team. A senior standout at Stanford, Quon has played a pivotal role in the Cardinal’s return to the College Cup, where they will try to defend their title this weekend.
Joining Quon on the Second Team is former Michigan Hawks goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, who recorded 0.68 goals-against average for Michigan this fall. Former Fort Wayne Fever standout Sarah Killion joins them after recording three goals and six assists for UCLA this fall, and former Bradenton Athletics forward Erika Tymrak, who had nine goals and 12 assists to lead Florida with 30 points.
Tymrak’s teammate with the Gators, and D.C. United Women standout, Holly King led the selections on the Third Team after appearing in every game this season while recording five goals and four assists. Former Toronto Lady Lynx duo Bry McCarty (West Virginia) and Jonelle Filigno (Rutgers) also earned Third Team honors, with Filigno leading the Scarlet Knights with 15 goals and 35 points this season.
A pair of defenders – Michigan State’s Annie Steinlage, formerly of the Kalamazoo Kingdom, and Portland’s Kendall Johnson, of the Colorado Rush – completed the group, with former U.S. U20 international Johnson starting 19 games for the Pilots and recording three goals and five assists.