Randolph-Macon's Nelson, Howell Lead All-ODAC Women's Soccer Awards

Randolph-Macon's Nelson, Howell Lead All-ODAC Women's Soccer Awards

FOREST, Va. --- ODAC champion Randolph-Macon College earned two major individual honors and Washington and Lee University garnered a league-best nine all-conference selections to headline the 2019 All-ODAC Women's Soccer Awards.

Randolph-Macon forward Gabby Nelson received ODAC Player of the Year laurels, while Yellow Jackets head coach Jay Howell was tabbed the ODAC Coach of the Year. Virginia Wesleyan University centerback Sam Crawford earned ODAC Rookie of the Year accolades, and Eastern Mennonite University goalkeeper Leah Wenger was named the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the league's sports information directors.

Fourteen players earned recognition on an All-ODAC team for a second straight season. That list includes seven of this year's All-ODAC First Team. Randolph-Macon's Nelson and midfielder Casey Kent are repeat first teamers along with Bridgewater College midfielder Hanna Randolph, Roanoke College goalkeeper Chris Martin, Shenandoah University forward Emily Yergin, and Washington and Lee midfielder Erin Hoeh. Bridgewater defender Savanna Cowan moved up from the 2018 All-ODAC Second Team. Yergin is a now a four-time first team choice, while Martin has appeared on the first team in each of the past three seasons.

RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Awards | All-Time All-Conference

Nelson, a senior from Clover, Va., ranks inside the nation's top-five in goals scored and points entering the NCAA Tournament. She is third in Division III with 27 goals and sits fourth with 61 points. Those numbers are currently tied for fifth and sixth, respectively, in the ODAC record book. She also has seven assists to her credit, which is tied for third in the ODAC. Additionally, she leads the conference in shots (118) and game-winning goals. Fifteen of her 27 goals came against league opponents on the way to 31 points. Both totals lead the conference. Nelson registered at least one point in 22-of-27 games played. On 10 occasions she posted three or more points with a career-high nine points on four goals and an assist in a 5-2 win at Randolph College.

Howell is in his sixth season guiding Randolph-Macon's women's soccer program. His Yellow Jackets are currently rated 13th in the Division III by D3soccer.com and receiving votes towards the United Soccer Coaches top-25 poll. Randolph-Macon won its first ODAC title since 1996 on Sunday afternoon, marking the program's 13th overall league crown. R-MC has gone unblemished thru the regular season and conference tournament, sitting at 20-0-1 entering the NCAA Tournament as the ODAC's automatic entry. R-MC's win total ties a program record, while the 20 straight victories thru the ODAC semifinals marks a new team mark. This will be the program's fourth appearance on the national stage. Howell currently boasts a 64-34-9 (.640) career record with play set to begin in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Crawford, a first-year from Bensalem, Pa., pairs this honor with a selection to the All-ODAC Third Team. Crawford stepped in and joined Shae Geary to provide a stout centerback duo in the middle of the Marlins defense. She started all 19 games she played. Virginia Wesleyan, which finished as runner-up to Randolph-Macon following a penalty shootout in the ODAC final, allowed just 13 goals against all opponents this season. That number shrinks to just six goals allowed against league foes. 

Wenger, a senior from Broadway, Va., standouts both on and off the field for Eastern Mennonite. In the classroom, Wenger maintains a 3.95 grade point average while majoring in psychology and music vocal performance with a minor in the EMU honors program. A three-time ODAC All-Academic Team honoree and perennial member of the EMU Dean's List, Wenger is co-President of the Student Government Association. She studied abroad in India in 2018 as part of EMU's cross cultural program and is currently working a pair of internships with the Harrisonburg Community Services Board and Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir. She is a member of EMU's University Choir, Chamber Sings, Astral Society Club, and Composer Collective Club. She also organizes campus hymn sings.

On the field, Wenger has collected 10 shutouts and sits sixth in the ODAC with 98 saves. She is seventh with a .824 save percentage and ninth with a 1.15 goals-against-average as she allowed just 21 goals in 18 games played. She posted three games of 10 saves or more including a season-best 13 stops in a 1-0 setback to Virginia Wesleyan.

Listed below are the 2019 All-ODAC Women's Soccer Awards.  For more information, visit any of the participating schools' websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

ODAC Player of the Year: Gabby Nelson, Sr., F, Randolph-Macon
ODAC Coach of the Year: Jay Howell, Randolph-Macon
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Sam Crawford, Fy., D, Virginia Wesleyan
ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Leah Wenger, Sr., GK, Eastern Mennonite

Gabby Nelson* Sr. F Randolph-Macon
Emily Yergin* Sr. F Shenandoah
Mia Meinhardt Jr. F Virginia Wesleyan
Lindsay White Fy. F Washington and Lee
Hanna Randolph* So. M Bridgewater
Casey Kent* Jr. M Randolph-Macon
McKenna Maier Jr. M Randolph-Macon
Erin Hoeh* Jr. M Washington and Lee
Savannah Cowan^ Sr. D Bridgewater
Haley Silva Sr. D Randolph-Macon
Shae Geary Sr. D Virginia Wesleyan
Emily Roche’ Sr. D Washington and Lee
Chris Martin* Sr. GK Roanoke
Catherine Haufe^ Sr. F Bridgewater
Alyssa Rudy Sr. F Lynchburg
Sara Bane+ Jr. F Randolph
Emily Leding So. F Washington and Lee
Amanda Wigboldy So. M Lynchburg
Lucy Perry^ Jr. M Roanoke
Kennedi Anders^ So. M Virginia Wesleyan
Kristen Castle+ Sr. M Washington and Lee
Monica Beck Sr. D Lynchburg
Kylie Martino So. D Randolph-Macon
Eliza Ryan Fy. D Roanoke
Brenna Wehner Fy. D Washington and Lee
Grace Coombs So. GK Washington and Lee
Casey Raggett Jr. F Ferrum
Hailey Davis Sr. F Roanoke
Kathryn Van Orden Sr. F Roanoke
Maiya Pencile So. F Shenandoah
Sydney Ryan^ Sr. M Bridgewater
Ellie Schad Jr. M Roanoke
Camryn Terry So. M Virginia Wesleyan
Elle Prillaman Jr. M Washington and Lee
Lexi Winkler Fy. D Bridgewater
Abbie Marquette Jr. D Shenandoah
Sam Crawford Fy. D Virginia Wesleyan
Laney Smith Sr. D Washington and Lee
Edye Carr^ So. GK Randolph-Macon
* 2018 All-ODAC First Team
^ 2018 All-ODAC Second Team
+ 2018 All-ODAC Third Team