San Jose, Calif.----The San Jose State University women's soccer program held its annual awards banquet to recognize team and individual accomplishments for the 2010 season Thursday night, May 5.
Head coach Jeff Leightman recapped his third year in charge at SJSU, which led to a second straight Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship and breaking a school record for single-season WAC wins in program history with six.
Leightman spoke on behalf of each player's accomplishments, both on and off the field. After a team slideshow and dinner, five awards were handed out by Leightman and assistant coaches Craig Winans and David Lovercheck.
Maria Esquivias and Helen Phan received the first award of the night, Most Improved.
Maria, a walk-on from Santa Cruz, transferred from Cabrillo College as a junior. She was one of seven Spartans to see action in all 21 matches. She made her first major collegiate start at Cal Poly on September 3, 2010 and scored the game winning goal at New Mexico State in the 2-1 win. She produced 26 shots, 11 of which were between the pipes.
Helen, a soon-to-be junior and graduate of St. Lawrence Academy in Santa Clara, started in two matches and saw action in 16. She finished the year with three shots, one of them on goal.
The first award voted by members of the Spartan team was the Team Award, an award given to a player who represents the ideals and professionalism of a Spartan. Senior-to-be Lauren Sanchez accepted the honors. Lauren, a native of San Jose and Archbishop Mitty High School graduate, was one of three Spartans to play and start in all 21 matches in 2010. She was selected Second Team All-WAC and for the third straight year, honored Academic All-WAC and San Jose State University Scholar-Athlete.
Offensive MVP distinction went to sophomore-to-be Kayla Santacruz. Kayla, a graduate from California High in San Ramon, Calif., was awarded 2010 WAC Freshman of the Year. In conference matches she finished first in points (19), points per game (2.38), goals (8) and goals per game (1.00). She was WAC Offensive Player of the Week (October 18-24) and the Spartan Foundation Student-Athlete of the Month (October).
Senior-to-be Meghan Maiwald took home the Defensive MVP award. The Santa Clara native and Santa Barbara City College transfer, played in every minute of all 21 games. Meghan broke the school's record for most solo shutouts in a single-season (6), cracked the top-three on the school's single-season goals against average list (1.15) and did not give up a goal in all 200 minutes at the WAC Championships. In conference matches, she led the league in saves (43) and saves per game (5.38). Meghan was awarded WAC Defensive Player of the Week (September 20-26) and selected to the WAC All-Tournament Team.
Junior-to-be Kelsey Lord took top honors as the overall Most Valuable Player, the final award of the evening. A graduate from Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., Kelsey broke the school's record for assists in a season with a league-high 11 assists. In NCAA Division I rankings, she ranked 13th in assists per game (0.55), 20th in total assists (11) and 48th in points per game (1.35). In league matches, she led the conference in assists (8) and assists per game (1.00), while ranking second in points (16) and points per game (2.00). She was selected First Team All-WAC and Spartan Foundation Student-Athlete of the Month (September). For the second straight year, Kelsey made Academic All-WAC and was a San Jose State University Scholar-Athlete.
The banquet concluded with Leightman calling up Kim Johnston, Katie Knopp, Lauren Ng-Pinkerton and Stephanie Righetti, his four standout seniors, for one final farewell and thank you. Each senior received a framed San Jose State jersey.
Most Improved: Maria Esquivias and Helen Phan
Team Award: Lauren Sanchez
Offensive MVP: Kayla Santacruz
Deffensive MVP: Meghan Maiwald
Overall MVP: Kelsey Lord
Kim Johnston, Katie Knopp, Lauren Ng-Pinkerton and Stephanie Righetti
Amanda Martin, Lauren Ng-Pinkerton and Angela Santoro