HPU Women’s Soccer Head Coach Marty Beall Named Big South Coach of the Year, Five Panthers Named All-Conference

Rock Hill, S.C. – High Point University women’s soccer coach Marty Beall was named the Big South Coach of the Year and five HPU players were named to the Big South All-Conference teams at the Big South women’s soccer awards banquet on the campus of Winthrop University Thursday evening.

Junior midfielders Becca Hemby and Taylor Parker were both named first-team All-Big South while junior Sammy Vercellino and sophomores Jacky Kessler and Alise LeCompte were named to the second team. In addition, freshman defender Amy Burch was named to the All-Freshman team and senior Janay Whittaker was named to the All-Academic team.

“I am very happy for all these girls that they have been recognized by the conference,” Beall said. “To have the amount of players honored that we have over the past couple seasons is very exciting. Each year this conference is getting better and better so it is fantastic to have five girls named to the all-conference teams. It speaks volumes about our program and the direction we are headed. These awards are also a direct result of the team’s success and the work the entire team puts into every training session. I couldn’t be more proud as their coach.”

Beall was named Big South Coach of the Year after guiding High Point to its second Big South Regular Season Championship in three seasons. HPU finished the conference season with an 8-1-2 mark and enters the Big South Conference Semifinals with a 10-5-6 overall record. The Panthers are currently ranked first in the Big South with 40 assists and second in both goals (39) and points (5.62 per game).

“It is an amazing honor to be named the Big South Coach of the Year,” Beall said. “We have a tremendous group of coaches in the Big South with excellent teams so to earn this award is very flattering. This is a great tribute to the team, their hard work and the success they had this season. I am thrilled to be coaching this amazing group of women.”

Hemby has appeared in 19 games for HPU and leads the team this season with 26 points on a team-high 11 goals and four assists. She is tied for second in the Big South in goals and is tied for third in the conference in points. The midfielder’s 11 goals this season ties the HPU Div. I single-season record set by Kelli Joline in 2010. She has scored three game-winning goals this season including the regular season title-clinching win at Campbell and the quarterfinal win over Charleston Southern. Hemby was named Big South Attacking Player of the Week on Oct. 2 after notching two goals and two assists in games against Winthrop and Gardner-Webb.

Parker has played in all 21 games for High Point and is third on the team with 16 points on four goals and a team-high eight assists. In her first season with the Panthers, Parker is tied for third in the Big South in assists. She has four goals and six assists in conference play including a goal and two assists in a win over UNC Asheville. Parker also scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give HPU a victory over Gardner-Webb.

Vercellino played all 21 games at left back for High Point this season and has helped lead a defense that has allowed just eight goals in 11 conference games and three goals over its last nine contests. Vercellino has also served as an outlet on for the offense, providing width and picking up her first assist of the season in HPU’s quarterfinal win over Charleston Southern.

Kessler has played in 19 games for the Panthers and is second on the team with 20 points on six goals and eight assists. The forward is tied for third in the conference in assists, seventh in points and tied for ninth in goals. Kessler has done the majority of her damage in conference play with six goals and seven assists against Big South opponents and is third in the Big South in points during conference play. Kessler’s best game came against Charleston Southern during the regular season when she played a role in all four of HPU scores, finishing with two goals and two assists.

LeCompte has played all 21 games at center back and has been the leader of a back line that has recorded seven shutouts this season. The High Point defense has allowed just 1.24 goals per game overall and 0.73 goals per game in Big South play. LeCompte also has three assists this season which places her in a tie for fourth on the team. The sophomore was named Big South Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 16 after guiding HPU to back-to-back shutouts over Liberty and Longwood in which the Panthers allowed just five shots on goal.

Burch stepped into the High Point defense at centerback early in the season and helped stabilize a defense that allowed just eight goals in conference play. The defender also finished the season with five points on two goals and an assist, scoring against East Carolina and against Charleston Southern in the Big South Quarterfinals.

“I am very happy that Amy was named to the All-Freshman team,” Beall said. “This honor is a reflection of the hard work that she has put in this season. Amy has a very bright future and I am excited to continue working with her in the coming seasons.”

Whittaker is carrying a 3.98 GPA while majoring in Biology. She has played in all 21 games for High Point this season, appearing as both a defender and a forward. She has nine points on the season on three goals and three assists. Her best game of the season came at Winthrop where she notched a career-high three points with a goal and an assist to help the Panthers come back from 2-0 down and draw WU on the road.

“It is such an honor for Janay to be a part of the All-Academic team,” Beall said. “She is a great role model for what it means to be a true student-athlete. She has also been an outstanding senior captain in her final season and I will miss her.”

The No. 1-seeded Panthers continue with the Big South Tournament on Friday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m., when they take on No. 4 Winthrop in the Big South Semifinals at Rock Hill, S.C. High Point is scheduled to kick off against the Eagles at 4:30 p.m., with the second semifinal between No. 2 Radford and No. 3 Longwood following at 7 p.m. The winners of the two semifinal matches will meet in the Big South Championship Game on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C. HPU is looking to clinch its third Big South title in four seasons and a conference-record fifth overall since 1999.

2012 Big South Conference Women’s Soccer Award Winners

2012 Big South All-Conference First Team
Ashley Clark, F, So., Campbell
Toni Lashley, F, Jr., Charleston Southern
Kacey Kelley, F, So., Coastal Carolina
Krystyna Freda, F, So, Winthrop
Becca Hemby, MF, Jr., High Point
Kelsey Pardue, MF, Jr., Longwood
Taylor Parker, MF, Jr., High Point
Rachel Conway, MF, Jr., Radford
Natalie Massey, D, Sr., Longwood
Lauren Stell, D., Sr., Liberty
Taylor Brown, D, Sr., Campbell
Tyler Drake, D, Jr., Radford
Che’ Brown, GK, Jr., Radford

2012 Big South All –Conference Second Team
Lindsey Ottavio, F, Sr., Longwood
Jacky Kessler, F, So, High Point
Sara Simpson, F, Jr., Presbyterian College
Kaitlyn Eckert, F, So., UNC Asheville
Kirsty Meyer, MF, Sr., Campbell
Rebecca Hollstegge, MF, Sr., Charleston Southern
Grace Radler, MF, So., Winthrop
Fia Jonsson, MF, Fr., Coastal Carolina
Alise LeCompte, D, So., High Point
Cami Skladany, D, Sr., Coastal Carolina
Megan Pritts, D, Jr., Winthrop
Sammy Vercellino, D, Jr., High Point
Karen Blocker, GK, R-Sr., Liberty

2012 Big South All-Freshmen Team
Alexis Connors, GK, Campbell
Gina Cox, MF, Charleston Southern
Fia Jonsson, MF, Coastal Carolina
Amy Burch, D, High Point
Brittany Aanderud, MF, Liberty
Jamie Bouffard, F, Liberty
Meghan Magee, D, Longwood
Olivia Colella, MF, Longwood
Hanna Gaither, D, Presbyterian College
Asyia Mitchell, F, Radford
Taylor Walton, F, Winthrop

2012 Big South All-Academic Team
Cissy Nitz, Campbell
Allison Lewis, Charleston Southern
Anna Lowe, Coastal Carolina
Megan Curan, Gardner-Webb
Janay Whittaker, High Point
Karen Blocker, Liberty
Lindsey Ottavio, Longwood
Emily Boggus, Presbyterian College
Megan Rhodes, Radford
Heather Muller, UNC Asheville
Simone Jimenez, VMI
Allie VandeWater, Winthrop

2012 Big South Attacking Player of the Year
Krystyna Freda, F, So, Winthrop

2012 Big South Defensive Player of the Year
Che’ Brown, GK, Jr., Radford

2012 Big South Freshman of the Year
Fia Jonsson, MF, Fr., Coastal Carolina

2012 Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Megan Rhodes, Radford

2012 Big South Coach of the Year
Marty Beall, High Point