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Farrell Tabbed VaSID State Rookie of the Year; Norman Named Coach of the Year

December 20, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty's Nate Norman was named the VaSID State Coach of the Year and Gabrielle Farrell was selected VaSID Rookie of the Year.

Liberty's Nate Norman was named the VaSID State Coach of the Year and Gabrielle Farrell was selected VaSID Rookie of the Year.

The 2016 Big South Champion Liberty Lady Flames earned several additional accolades on Tuesday, as the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Women's Soccer University Division All-State team was announced.

Freshman forward Gabrielle Farrell was named the VaSID Rookie of the Year, while Head Coach Nate Norman was selected the VaSID Coach of the Year. Farrell was joined by junior midfielder Isabella Habuda on the VaSID All-State first team, while redshirt senior goalkeeper Holly Van Noord was named to the second team.

Nomination and voting for the team is conducted by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID). The all-state team honors the best Division I women's soccer players in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A total of 11 different schools had players recognized on the 2016 VaSID Women's Soccer University Division All-State team. Virginia had six players recognized, including Player of the Year Alexis Shaffer, while Liberty and William & Mary had three apiece to lead the list.

Coming off a debut season which saw her named the Big South Freshman of the Year, Farrell joins her 2016 teammate Van Noord as the only two Lady Flames to have ever been selected as the Commonwealth's Rookie of the Year. Van Noord received the honor in 2013.

In 2016, Farrell became the first Lady Flame to be named the Big South Freshman of the Year since Summer Able was selected as the conference's Co-Rookie of the Year in 1994. In addition, the Langhorne, Pa. native was named to the Big South first team.

The forward led the Big South with six game-winning goals, topped by her overtime winner in Liberty's 2-1 overtime win in the Big South title game over High Point. She also tied for the conference lead in assists (8), was second in points (24) and tied for third in goals (8). 

A three-time Big South Freshman of the Week and a 2016 Big South All-Tournament team member, Farrell completed the year second on Liberty's all-time freshman scoring list. Only Lauren Coffey in 1999 scored more points during her freshman year (32 points).

Meanwhile, Norman becomes the first Liberty head coach to ever be honored as VaSID Coach of the Year. Norman lead Liberty to a 14-8 mark on the year and the 2016 Big South Championship. Liberty's title was its sixth, setting a new conference record for women's soccer titles.

Norman's team's 14 wins were the most ever in program history during a head coach's first season at Liberty. He was also the first Liberty head coach to win a conference title during his first year at the helm of the program.

Habuda made quite an impact during her first year at Liberty to earn her selection to the VaSID All-State first team. The junior garnered NSCAA All-Southeast Region second team honors and was named to the Big South All-Conference first team in 2016.

The Belle River, Ontario, native led the Big South Conference and Lady Flames in goals and points. Habuda scored 10 goals and added five assists to pace the conference with 25 points. She finished the year ranked fifth on the program's single season list in both categories.

Habuda scored a goal in seven out of Liberty's last 10 games of the year, including the first marker in Liberty's Big South title game victory. During the span, Liberty won a program-high eight consecutive matches.

In her final season at Liberty, Van Noord receives the third selection of her career to the VaSID team. The goalkeeper was named to the first team in 2013 and the second team in 2014.

Earlier this month, Van Noord was named to the NSCAA All-Southeast Region second team, the fourth time during her stellar career. The Hudsonville, Mich., native is one of two Liberty players in program history to receive multiple all-region selections, and is the only Lady Flame to have earned all-region honors four times.

The goalkeeper finished her career as the Big South and Liberty all-time leader with 41 shutouts and the program leader with a 0.79 career goals-against average. The redshirt senior also completed her time at Liberty second on the program's all-time list with 407 career saves.

Van Noord was voted the Big South Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career in 2016 and was named to her fourth consecutive Big South All-Conference team, earning a first team selection. The goalkeeper also was voted to the Big South All-Tournament team after helping Liberty capture its third conference title in the last four seasons with a 2-1 overtime win over High Point.

Van Noord led the Big South Conference in 2016 with a 0.85 goals-against average and in save percentage with a .866 save percentage over 1,805 minutes between the posts. Her first of eight shutouts on the season and 34th of her career, a 1-0 blanking of James Madison on Sept. 4, set a new Big South Conference record for shutouts. In addition, the goalkeeper backstopped a school record seven consecutive shutouts by the Lady Flames and the longest winning streak in program history of eight games, this past season.

2016 VaSID Women's Soccer University Division All-State team

Player of the Year                         

Alexis Shaffer          Virginia

Coach of the Year                                          

Nate Norman          Liberty

Rookie of the Year                                        

Gabrielle Farrell     Liberty

All-State First Team               


Murielle Tiernan       Virginia Tech

Veronica Latsko       Virginia

Lexi Prillaman          Richmond

Gabrielle Farrell     Liberty


Alexis Shaffer          Virginia

Ashley Herndon       James Madison

Isabella Habuda     Liberty


Kristen McNabb       Virginia

Clara Logsdon          William & Mary

Meghan Cox            Virginia


Morgan Stearns       Virginia

All-State Second Team                                


Meaghan Carrigan   Richmond

Sarah Segan            William & Mary

Taylor Ziemer          Virginia


Alex Myers               George Mason

Rachel Moore          William & Mary

Candace Cephers    Virginia Tech

Jasmine Casarez     Radford


Abby Downey          George Mason

Jackie Stroud           Old Dominion

Sydney Wallace       Longwood         


Holly Van Noord    Liberty