Mountain West Announces 2016 Women’s Soccer All-Conference Teams
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On Monday, the Mountain West announced its 2016 women’s soccer All-Conference teams and individual award winners. UNLV senior forward Lily Sender was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while Rebels’ junior defender Chidera Akubuilo garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Boise State freshman forward Raimee Sherle earned MW Newcomer of the Year honors and Chris Shaw of UNLV was tabbed the Coach of the Year. The individual awards and All-Mountain West teams were selected by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Sender becomes UNLV’s first MW Offensive Player of the Year award winner since 2007. The senior topped the league in goals with 10 and points with 22 during Conference play. The forward averaged 3.09 shots, 2.00 points and 0.91 goals per game over 11 Conference matches. In the regular-season finale, Sender became just the fourth player in UNLV program history to record a hat trick, tallying three goals in the Rebels’ win over in-state rival Nevada.
Akubuilo becomes UNLV’s first Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year in program history. The junior anchored the Rebels’ defensive unit which surrendered just 0.87 goals per game during Conference action. UNLV ranked second in the league in goals allowed and goals-against average. Akubuilo helped the Rebels post three shutouts, including one versus Utah State which finished the season ranked third in the MW in goals per game.
Sherle received the second MW Newcomer/Freshman of the Year honor for Boise State, joining Brooke Heidemann who earned the award in 2012. In 11 MW contests, Sherle tallied 14 points on six goals and two assists. Her six goals tied for second in the league, while the 14 overall points was fifth best in the Mountain West. The freshman led the Conference in shots (39) and shots per game (3.55). The Meridian, Idaho, native recorded her first-career hat trick on September 30 at Colorado College.
Shaw earned Conference Coach of the Year accolades after leading UNLV to its first MW regular-season title since 2007 and just its third overall. Shaw becomes the Rebels’ third coach to receive the honor and first since Kat Mertz in 2007. During Conference play, UNLV won a program-record eight matches, finishing with an 8-1-2 league mark. Under Shaw’s direction, the Rebels ranked second in the league in points (71), goals (24), assists (23) and goals-against average (0.87)
Regular-season champion UNLV led all teams with nine all-conference honorees, including five first-team members, two second-team student-athletes and two all-newcomer team performers.
The 2016 MW Women’s Soccer Championship is set for Tuesday, Nov. 1, Thursday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 5 at the SDSU Sports Deck on the campus of San Diego State University. All five matches of the six-team, single-elimination tournament will be broadcast live and free of charge on the Mountain West Network. For more information on the Championship, visit the 2016 MW Women’s Soccer Championship Central page.
Offensive Player of the Year: Lily Sender, Sr., F, UNLV
Defensive Player of the Year: Chidera Akubuilo, Jr., D, UNLV
Newcomer of the Year: Raimee Sherle, Fr., F, Boise State
Coach of the Year: Chris Shaw, UNLV
Note: Due to a tie in the voting, there are 12 student-athletes on the All-Conference Second Team.