Women’s soccer earns six OVC titles

The women’s soccer team brought home several Ohio Valley Conference awards, including two players winning Player of the Year awards and two freshman earning spots on the All-Newcomer team.

The women’s soccer team had six players earn the OVC player spots. Four of the players earned a spot on the All-OVC First Team Andrea Frerker, a fifth-year midfielder, MacKenzie Litzsinger, a senior forward, Lily Schnieders, a redshirt sophomore, and Maria Haro, a junior forward. While two other players earned a spot on the ALL-Newcomer Team, Kaitlyn Nichols, a freshman forward, and Grace Cobb, a freshman midfielder. Frerker was awarded OVC Midfielder of the Year, while Litzsinger was awarded OVC Forward of the Year. 

Frerker has played for the Cougars for five years, and is well deserving of the OVC Midfielder of the Year award, according to Derek Burton, Head Coach of the women’s soccer team. Frerker is the first women’s soccer player to earn the OVC Midfielder of the Year at SIUE. 

“[She] does everything well. She's the ultimate leader. In terms of example [and] just one of the hardest working players I've ever coached. She has a ton of ability to get out of trouble and beat defenders which really opens up the game for the rest of [her] team,” Burton said 

Frerker said it feels good to get recognition for individual work and knowing all her hard work has paid off, but ultimately her value to the team matters the most.

“But in the end, when we're out there playing, we're playing for each other and the individual recognition kind of goes behind us. Just to say that feeling of winning OVC [Championship game], nothing compared to that feeling over an individual award any day. The team atmosphere, the team love, that's really what pushes us to want to succeed in future games,” Frerker said. 

Litzsinger was awarded the OVC Forward of the year becoming the first ever student athlete in the OVC to ever win the award twice in a row as well as her second ever spot on the OVC first team. 

Burton said Litzsinger has the ability to create scoring opportunities for other people while still having the skill to score herself. 

“MacKenzie [Litzsinger] obviously goes [to] score. She brings just relentless pursuit of scoring and creating scoring opportunities to the field,” Burton said

Schnieders was one of the players on the OVC-First Team as well. This is the first time she has been awarded this honor. 

 

“Lily [Schnieders] is just a really good facilitator. She has a great feel for the game. She's able to get other people involved and create scoring opportunities. She possesses a tremendous shot, tremendous finishing ability,” Burton said

 

Haro was also awarded OVC First team for the first time in her career, after a season with five goals and numerous assists. 

 

“She [has] really really blossomed the last six months and been super effective in terms of how she attacks the other team,” Burton said. 

 

Two newcomers on the team were also awarded a spot on the All-Newcomer team. Cobb and Nichols have earned their first OVC recognition this year. Burton said both girls have really adapted well to the game and have really supported the team this season. 

 

“Kaitlyn [Nichols] grew into more of a role of work and understanding as a year went along and scored some big goals for us down the stretch. Grace [Cobb] has really just jumped on board with what it takes to be a midfielder and be effective in our team with her work, just relentless pursuit of the ball, really high energy, high motor type of player,” Burton said. 

 

Cobb said that while it’s a great accomplishment to make the All-Newcomer’s Team, she wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of her teammates. 

 

“I want to give a lot of credit to our upperclassmen because they really helped mentor me. Without them, I just don't think that that would have been possible because they just showed us and communicated really well what the team expectations are and what to do on the field,” Cobb said. 

 

Burton said he is happy his players are getting recognition and that success as a team usually brings the spotlight to more players individually, but that team goals are the most important.  

 

“Every year you have people that from within our program, who we know are super influential and very impactful and great players, but don't get the recognition they deserve. But when you have a year like we did, finish co-champs usually that helps bring the spotlight to more people. That being said, I think we still had some players that didn't get the recognition that they deserve,” Burton said.

 

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