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NCAA Apr 15, 2021

Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Awards revealed for Spring 2021 season

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— Saint Louis Hannah Friedrich was voted the Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Year, while her teammates Emily Purcelli and Abbie Miller earned A-10 Defensive Player and Midfielder of the Year respectively.

Dayton freshman Itala Gemelli was named the A-10 Rookie of the Year and Adam Denton from Davidson was selected as Coach of the Year.

The Atlantic 10 announced the five major awards along with the All-Conference, All-Rookie and All-Academic teams Wednesday prior to the start of the 2020-21 A-10 Women’s Soccer Championship, which begins Thursday at the Hermann Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. The major awards, All-Conference Teams and All-Rookie Team were voted on by the A-10’s head women’s soccer coaches. The All-Academic team was selected by the women’s soccer media relations directors.

Friedrich leads the nation and the Atlantic 10 in total assists with 14 and is second in the nation in assist per game with 1.000. Also an All-Conference First Team forward, the junior from St. Louis is second in points in the Atlantic 10 with 18 and is third in shots on goal with 17.

Puricelli, a freshman from St. Louis, led the Atlantic 10 in goals against average (.498), saves (45) and shutouts (8). Also an All-Conference First Team Goalkeeper and a member of the All-Rookie team, Puricelli allowed just eight total goals in over 1,200 minutes in net this season.

Miller was third in assists (4) this season in the Atlantic 10 and third in goals (6) and tied for third in points (16). A sophomore from St. Charles, Mo., she was named All-Conference First Team Midfielder as well.

A freshman forward from Rochester, Mich., Gemelli led the Atlantic 10 in goals (9) and points (19) and is tied for first in game-winning goals (3). Gemelli was also named an All-Conference First Team forward and a member of the All-Rookie Team.

Denton earned his first Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year award after leading Davidson to a 4-2-2 league mark and a 6-3-3 overall record. The Wildcats earned their first-ever A-10 Championship berth after being picked 11th in the 2020-21 season preseason poll.

Joining Friedrich, Gemelli, Miller and Puricelli on the All-Conference First Team were: forwards Hannah Larson (Saint Louis) and Samantha Jerabek (VCU), midfielders Jenny Hipp (Massachusetts) and Emma Kershner (VCU), defenders Brionna Halverson (Saint Louis), Lyndsey Heckel (Saint Louis) and Sophia Stram (Saint Louis) and goalkeeper Mary Grace Bunch (Davidson).

The All-Conference Second Team includes: goalkeeper Grace Young (VCU), defenders Mackenzie Lutz (Dayton), Taylor Newhart (La Salle), Dani Sclafani (Massachusetts) and Lana Golob (VCU), midfielders Yaiza Navarro Leon (Dayton), Jessica Sheldon (Dayton) and Anna Bagley (VCU), and forwards Hailey Braemer (Davidson), Natalie Silberman (George Washington) and Emily Groark (Saint Louis).

The All-Academic team includes: Sheldon, Newhart and Sclafani, as well as Emma Thomas (Dayton), Lauren Bell (Duquesne), Deena DeBaldo (Duquesne), Megan Virgin (Duquesne), Jenna Soriano (La Salle), TJ Anderson (Richmond), Erica Behr (Saint Joseph’s) and Elli Brunts (Saint Louis).

The All-Rookie team is made up of: Gemelli, Larson, Heckel, Stram, Puricelli, Katie Houck (Dayton), Madison Wilson (Dayton), Kelli McGroarty (La Salle), Jordynn Stallard (La Salle), Hannah Peric (Massahcusetts) and Ella Curry (Massachusetts).

The 2020-21 Atlantic 10 Women’s Championship begins with two Thursday matches between No. 1 Saint Louis and No. 4 Dayton in the first semifinal at 1:00 pm ET/noon CT and No. 2 Massachusetts and No. 3 Davidson in the second semifinal at 5:00 pm ET/4:00 pm CT. The championship final will be played Saturday at 1:00 pm ET/noon CT. All three matches of the A-10 championship will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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