Soccer Celebrates Historic Season at Banquet

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Soccer Celebrates Historic Season at Banquet

BATON ROUGE — The reigning Southeastern Conference Western Division champion LSU soccer team honored its historic 2007 season on Monday night with an awards banquet held at the Stadium Club in the West upper deck of Tiger Stadium.

With family, friends, coaches, student-athletes and support staff on hand, the Tigers relived the success of the 2007 season in which they won their first ever SEC West title and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the 13-year history of the program.

“We certainly proud of our kids for everything that they accomplished this season, and we felt like it was important for everyone associated with LSU soccer to celebrate that for all of the hard work they’ve put in these last few years,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “This has been a great group of girls to coach, and we’re looking forward to even better things in 2008.”

In fact, the team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after picking up its first postseason victory with a 1-0 overtime defeat of Samford in the regional held in Tallahassee, Fla.

For their efforts, three Tigers received All-America recognition as sophomores Michelle Makasini, Malorie Rutledge and Rachel Yepez were named honorable mention All-Americans by Top Drawer Soccer. In addition, Makasini and Rutledge proved to be among the elite midfielders in the SEC after earning First-Team All-SEC honors for their performance.

They were joined on the all-conference squad by sophomore Chelsea Potts and freshman Taryne Boudreau, who received second-team and all-freshman honors, respectively.

Potts has been dominant force in the middle of the Tigers’ back line in her two years at LSU as she received Second-Team All-SEC honors for the second straight season, while Boudreau was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in addition to receiving Freshman All-American honors from Soccer Buzz Magazine following the season.

The Tigers’ success was not limited to the field of play as 11 student-athletes were members of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while senior Caroline Vanderpool, senior Valerie Vogler and junior Roslyn Jones were academic all-district selections by ESPN The Magazine.

The 2007 season also proved to be a record-setting campaign at the box office as the Tigers drew record crowds week in and week out at the LSU Soccer Complex.

The squad finished the season ranked among the nation’s Top 10 teams in average attendance for the first time in program history as an average of 1,294 fans made it through the turnstiles each night to see the Tigers in action. This marks the first time that the Tigers have finished among the Top 10 as they ranked No. 10 nationally in average attendance and No. 7 in paid attendance.

The all-time attendance record was set three times in eight home matches as the Tigers opened up in front of a then record crowd of 1,828 against Southern Miss on Aug. 31.

The team went on to crack the 2,000 barrier twice as 2,160 fans filled the seats to see the Tigers take on McNeese State on Sept. 14, while and 2,402 fans packed the stands to witness the team earn its first ever win over an opponent ranked among the nation’s Top 10 with a dominating 3-0 shutout of sixth-ranked Tennessee on Oct. 5.

In all, the Tigers finished the 2007 season with a 12-5-7 overall record and a 5-2-4 mark in SEC play. Their 5-0-3 record at the LSU Soccer Complex marked the first time in program history that they finished unbeaten in their home schedule.

Now the focus turns to 2008 as LSU looks to build on its success as the team welcomes back nine full-time starters and five others who have earned starting experience in the SEC in their careers.

“This is without a doubt the most exciting time to be a part of LSU soccer,” Lee said. “I’m proud of our girls that they were able to break through and accomplish last year what no other team in the history of this program had done before. They’ve gotten a taste of success, and I know they’re ready for the 2008 season to begin so they can build on the great success from the fall.”

2007 LSU SOCCER AWARD WINNERS
Note: awards were voted on by the players and listed in the order received

Support Staffer of the Year
Will Stafford, Sports Information Director

Most Valuable Goalkeeper
Valerie Vogler

Most Valuable Utility Player
Caroline Vanderpool

Most Valuable Defender
Chelsea Potts

Most Valuable Midfielder
Malorie Rutledge

Most Valuable Forward
Rachel Yepez

Most Valuable Substitute
*Awarded to team’s top reserve who started in less than 50 percent of games in 2007
Amanda Carreno

Newcomer of the Year
Taryne Boudreau

Kelly Mortgage Louisiana Soccer Player of the Year
*Awarded to the most outstanding collegiate player in Louisiana as voted on by the state’s 11 Division I head coaches
Rachel Yepez

Coaches Award
Casey Crawford
Roslyn Jones

Leadership Award
Sara Pollock

Power Tiger Award
*For the player who demonstrates exemplary work ethic and attitude in the weight room
Rachel Yepez

Chelsea Agar Scholastic Achievement Award
*Awarded to the player with the highest cumulative grade-point average after completing at least two full semesters
Caroline Vanderpool

Cox Academic Center Achievement Award
*For the player who has shown exemplary improvement and effort in academics
Michelle Makasini

Purple Heart Award
*For the player who has fought through injury or personal strife to help the team succeed
Jackie Moseley

Fighting Tiger Award
*Awarded to the teammate whose actions on and off the field demonstrate exceptional character by putting the team first in all situations
Sara Pollock