Rhodes College racks up major awards in 2008 All-SCAC Women's Soccer voting

Rhodes College racks up major awards in 2008 All-SCAC Women's Soccer voting

SUWANEE, Ga. - For the first time in league history, three players will share one of the conference's major postseason awards. In exclusive balloting by the head coaches of the conference, Diana Buss of Rhodes College, Evey Gannaway of Sewanee-University of the South and Allison Terry of Centre split the vote to share 2008 SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year. Katy Joyner of Rhodes was voted the league's Defensive Player-of-the-Year.

In that same balloting, Abigail Loar of Trinity University was tabbed SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year, and Rhodes head coach Bobby Lessentine gave the Lynx at least a share of three of the four major postseason awards when he was voted SCAC Coach-of-the-Year.

Diana Buss, a senior midfielder from Montgomery, Ala., led the SCAC champion Lynx in scoring with five goals and 10 points, including three game-winners. Buss had four of her goals in conference play and two of those were game-winners. She is just the second player from Rhodes to earn SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year and the first since Rachel Day was Co-Player-of-the-Year in 1996.

Evey Gannaway, a senior forward from Collierville, Tenn., had eight goals (tied for seventh in the SCAC) and two assists for 18 points on the season (1.06 points per game - tied for ninth in the SCAC). She was second on her team in scoring, despite the attention she got from other teams. The league's offensive POTW in Week 5, Gannaway is the first player from Sewanee to earn SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors.

Allison Terry, a senior forward from Lexington, Ky., had seven goals (tied for 10th in the SCAC) and six assists (tied for sixth in the SCAC) for 20 points for the Colonels - which tied for the seventh-most points in the conference this season. Terry had a knack for performing well in high-pressure situations as witnessed by her league-high four game-winning goals - three of which came in conference play. Before Terry, Sara Morgan (1995-1998), the league's all-time leading scorer, was the last Centre player to take home the league's Offensive Player-of-the-Year honor (1998).

Buss, Gannaway and Terry earned three votes each to share Offensive POTY. A.J. Andreola of Southwestern received the remaining vote.

Kate Joyner, a senior defender from Dallas, Texas, was captain and leader of the Rhodes' back line that allowed only 11 goals overall, four in SCAC play - the fewest goals allowed both overall and in conference play. The Rhodes defense also posted seven shutouts in league play and 11 overall. A two-time All-SCAC selection, Joyner was the SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week in Week 4.

Joyner received four votes in the Defensive POTY voting, followed by Danika Wright of Trinity and Kate Anderson of Centre with two votes each. Kate Willingham of Sewanee and Kaitlin Elledge of Austin College received one vote each.

Abigail Loar, a first-year forward from Littleton, Colo., had six goals and five assists for 17 points - second on her team in scoring and third among all first-year players. Loar, who had two game-winning goals for Trinity, scored some critical goals and created a tremendous amount of opportunities for teammates both directly and indirectly with her movement off the ball. She is the fourth player from Trinity to earn the league's Newcomer-of-the-Year award and first since Kate Semmler in 2003.

Loar received six votes in the Newcomer-of-the-Year voting, followed by Kelsey Boling of Centre, who had two votes. Lizzie Butler of Sewanee and Jessica Harris of Millsaps College received one vote each.

Coach Bobby Lessentine led the Rhodes women to their first SCAC title since the 1991 season and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. His Lynx wrapped up their second 14-win season in the last three years and finished 14-4-2 after a heartbreaking loss to Illinois Wesleyan on penalty kicks in NCAA first round play. In four seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Lessentine has amassed on overall coaching record of 50-17-8 (.720). It is the second time Lessentine has been named SCAC Women's Coach-of-the-Year, the first coming after the 2005 season in which he led Rhodes to its best finish in a decade.

Lessentine received five votes from his peers in the COTY voting, followed closely by Jay Hoffman of Centre, who received four votes. Hoffman took his Colonels to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, which was also that program's first NCAA appearance. Paul Van Hooydonk of Millsaps received one vote.

For the complete 2008 All-SCAC Women's Soccer release, click here.