Nicole Irwin Named WAC "Offensive Player Of The Year"

Reno, Nev. - Four members of the San Jose State University women’s soccer team have been named to the 2006 All-Western Athletic Conference first and second teams.

Nicole Irwin garnered first-team All-WAC selection for the second year in a row, and was voted the WAC “Offensive Player of the Year.” She is the first Spartan to earn the distinction since Stacie Savage in 1997. Cristin Murphy, Jessica Scott and Marissa Dayton were each selected to the All-WAC second team.

KEY GOALS HELP IRWIN EARN HONOR

Irwin, out of Dublin, Calif. (Dublin HS), is the fourth player in the history of the program to be a two-time first-team All-WAC honoree. She leads the team with eight goals, including four game-winners, and 20 points. Irwin was twice named WAC “Offensive Player of the Week” during the 2006 season. She scored seven of her eight goals in conference games, producing a three-goal second-half hat trick in a 4-2 win at Hawai’i. In WAC games only, Irwin led the league in points (17), goals (7), points per game (2.43) and game-winning goals (3), and tied for the lead in assists (3).

"(This award) means a lot," said Irwin. "I set a goal for myself (at the start of the season), that this was one of the things I wanted to work toward. It shows that our team is working hard enough to gain recognition, to ever have me be looked at."

"Nicole is a special player," added San Jose State head coach Dave Siracusa. "In order of importance, a first-team all-conference selection was a given. As the top attacking player in the league, there was no other choice. She had three more goals than anybody else (in the WAC), more points, and as many assists. She had a seven-point weekend against Boise State and Idaho, and a six-point game at Hawai'i with a hat trick. She was recognized at both the conference and national level. The only thing left for her is to become an All-American, and I think that she has that ahead of her. She has the ability. The most important thing about Nicole is that at any given time, she can lift this team."

SECOND-TEAM SELECTIONS ADDED OFFENSE & SHUTOUT DEFENSE

Murphy, a senior tri-captain out of Aptos, Calif. (Cabrillo College/Aptos HS), shares the conference lead with six assists in the regular season. She added two goals for 10 total points, third-highest on the Spartans, from her outside midfield position.

"I'm really happy for Cristin," said Siracusa. "She carried us through the non-conference schedule before getting hurt at Santa Clara. She was unable to play the first two games of the WAC season, which might have hurt her chances, but she is one of our strongest players. She gives us identity and personality in the attack, and is a great person, so I'm glad for her."

Scott, a sophomore forward out of San Ramon, Calif. (California HS), lived up to her billing as a 2006 preseason All-WAC selection. She currently has 16 points on six goals and four assists, and leads the team with 55 shots and 24 shots on goal. Scott registered a three-goal first-half hat trick in a 5-0 home victory over Louisiana Tech on October 15.

Remarked Siracusa, "We know we can get a goal from Jessica at any point in a game. She gives us that confidence. I think that she still has her best years yet to come."

Dayton, a redshirt freshman goalkeeper from Livermore, Calif. (Livermore HS), posted four consecutive shutouts to begin the conference portion of the 2006 schedule, going a school-record 445 minutes without allowing a goal. She has made 77 saves on the year.

"It's quite an accomplishment for a freshman to get all-conference recognition," concluded Siracusa. "She had four shutouts in a row in conference play, and that has never happened in this program before. It was nice that she was recognized by the other coaches."

The four All-WAC selections are the most for the Spartans since 1999.

As the fourth seed, San Jose State takes on fifth-seeded Boise State in the opening game of the 2006 WAC Tournament at Mackay Stadium on Thursday, November 2, at 3:00 p.m. Fans can access live streaming video for a fee at WAC.tv, or live statistics for free at www.sjsuspartans.com.

The complete list of the All-WAC teams follows:

First Team
Taryn Fukuroku, So., F, Hawai'i
Samantha Miller, So., F, Nevada
Cortney Sobrero, Sr., F, Fresno State
Charity Weston, Sr., F, Utah State
Nicole Irwin, Jr., MF, San Jose State
Alison Sill, So., MF, Fresno State
Antonea Lugo, Sr., MF, Fresno State
Rochelle Jagdeo, Sr., D, Fresno State
Allison Tsuchida, Jr., D, Boise State
Jessica Wilcox, Jr., D, Nevada
Angie Larsen, Sr., GK, Fresno State

Second Team
Nicole Gutierrez, So., F, Fresno State
Karen Zmirak, So., F, Nevada
Jessica Scott, So., F, San Jose State
Jessica Domingo, Jr., MF, Hawai'i
Miranda Montejo, So., MF, Nevada
Cristin Murphy, Sr., MF, San Jose State
Dana Peart, Jr., MF, Utah State
Koren Takeyama, Jr., D, Hawai'i
Randee Robinson, So., D, Nevada
Lindsey Smart, Fr., D, Utah State
Marissa Dayton, Fr., GK, San Jose State

Offensive Player of the Year: Nicole Irwin, Jr., MF, San Jose State

Defensive Player of the Year: Rochelle Jagdeo, Sr., D, Fresno State

Freshman of the Year: Lindsey Smart, D, Utah State

Coach of the Year: Steve Springthorpe, Fresno State