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Hain Voted Big South Coach of the Year

November 4, 2009  Charleston, S.C.  RSS
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Maria Owen, Karen Blocker and Silvia Betancourt were named to the Big South all-conference first team Wednesday night.

Maria Owen, Karen Blocker and Silvia Betancourt were named to the Big South all-conference first team Wednesday night.

Liberty women's soccer coach Jessica Hain was named the 2009 Big South Coach of the Year, while six Lady Flames received all-conference honors, Wednesday night, on the eve of the Big South Women's Soccer Championship in Charleston, S.C.

Hain, who helped the Lady Flames improve from 2-6-1 in conference play a season ago to a league-best 6-1-2 this year, is the second Big South Coach of the Year in program history. James Price previously earned the award in 1999.

Sophomore goalkeeper Karen Blocker, sophomore midfielder Silvia Betancourt and junior forward Maria Owen were named to the first team, making Liberty the only team with a trio of first-team selections. It was the first time three Lady Flames were included on the first-team All-Big South roster in the same season since Suzanne Edwards, Amy Oberlin and Mandee Wheelock accomplished the feat in 2006. Additionally, Blocker became the first Liberty goalkeeper named to the first team since 1997, when Shannon Hutchinson was tabbed Co-Big South Player of the Year.

Junior defender Elia Lake was named to the second team and midfielder Madison Short and defender Ariana Espinoza received all-freshman team honors. In addition, senior Rachel Wisehart was named to the all-academic team.

Liberty, this year's Big South regular-season champion, is the No. 1 seed for this week's conference tournament. The Lady Flames became the first team in Big South history to finish in first place after finishing with the league's worst record the previous year.

Liberty's opening game will take place tomorrow at Blackbaud Stadium, when the Lady Flames take on No. 8 seed Winthrop at 2 p.m.

The Lady Flames wrapped up the regular season as the Big South champion for the third time in program history, and the first time since 2003, when Liberty shared the title with Coastal Carolina.

2009 Big South All-Conference Teams
First Team

Karen Blocker, Liberty, GK
Silvia Betancourt, Liberty, MF
Maria Owen, Liberty, F

Marky Boyce, Charleston Southern, F
Sarah Keyser, Gardner-Webb, MF
Caitlin Wesnesky, Charleston Southern, D
Audrey Falconi, VMI, D
Anna Tupy, Coastal Carolina, MF
Dana Gentile, Coastal Carolina, F
Megan Reimer, Gardner-Webb, F
Jackie Cozza, Radford, D
Stevie Lucas, Winthrop, D
Laura Eldridge, High Point, F

Second Team
Lisa Lubke, Radford, GK
Maegen Hellberg, Coastal Carolina, D
Jen Vroman, Charleston Southern, MF
Mary Wiley, Radford, F
Sarah Strand, VMI, MF
Mary Kate Tucker, UNC Asheville, D
Tricia Vensel, Winthrop, MF
Sarah Catenacci, Charleston Southern, MF
Brooke Bull, Gardner-Webb, D
Janey Whittaker, High Point, MF
Elia Lake, Liberty, D
Sarah McPartlan, Coastal Carolina, MF
Chloe McCleary-Small, UNC Asheville, F

All-Freshman Team
Morgann Wood, Charleston Southern, F
Samantha Rupert, Gardner-Webb, GK
Madison Short, Liberty, F
Kacey Hall, VMI, MF
Morgan Thomas, Coastal Carolina, F
Janay Whittaker, High Point, MF
Ariana Espinoza, Liberty, D
Rebecca Hollstegge, Charleston Southern, MF
Kylie Long, Winthrop, MF
Hannah Jeske, UNC Asheville, MF

Player of the Year
Marky Boyce, Charleston Southern, F

Freshman of the Year
Mary Wiley, Radford, F

Coach of the Year
Jessica Hain, Liberty

All-Academic Team
Lindsey Trexler, Charleston Southern
Maegen Hellberg, Coastal Carolina
Megan Trembley, Gardner-Webb
Laura Eldridge, High Point
Rachel Wisehart, Liberty
Rachel Lamb, Presbyterian
Jill Boyer, Radford
Veronica Lazar, UNC Asheville
Audrey Falconi, VMI
Rachel Webster, Winthrop

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Audrey Falconi, VMI