McNeese senior forward Savannah LaRicci was named the 2017 Southland Conference Soccer Player of the Year, the league announced Monday in conjunction with the all-conference first and second teams.
Senior Savannah LaRicci earned Player of the Year after her a phenomenal regular season, setting PR's in multiple offensive categories. The Sugar Land native also garnered Offensive Player of the Week twice, and NCAA Player of the Week for her performances as well.
LaRicci also picked up Forward of the Year honors as she led the league in every scoring category: 44 shots, 10 goals and 25 points against conference opposition. She also tied for fourth with five assists to her name. Her 31 points in overall games rank her 14th in the nation to cap the regular season. The senior out of Sugar Land, Texas, also netted seven game-winning goals in all games, ranking second in Division I.
Defender of the Year, Gabi D'Alesandro was noted for her performances on the pitch for the second this year, after earning the weekly conference award in week two. She is currently on track to finish her career with over 6,000 minutes on the pitch, putting her amongst the top in the McNeese record books.
With Gabi on the pitch, the Cowgirls have been one of the best defenses in the league, ranking second in the SLC with 10 goals in 11 conference contests, posting 13 overall shutouts on the season.
Freshman shot stopper Emma Roccaforte was named the Goalkeeper of the Year. In her debut campaign for the Cowgirls, the Nederland, Texas, product helped marshal a staunch defensive third, registering four shutouts to her name. Roccaforte earned ranked as high as third in the nation in save percentage in 2017.
Roccaforte has recorded 7.3 shutouts this season, placing her in 2nd in the record books for shutouts in a season… the only freshman on the list. Her seven-plus shutouts so far in her collegiate career are good for 5th place all-time at McNeese.
The four top all-conference honors are the most the program has received in one season, and LaRicci's Player of the Year is the first since Kamryn Koch did so in 2008. This is the first time in McNeese history that the team has also won Defender, Forward, and Goalkeeper of the Year awards.
Freshman of the Year: Christina Arteaga, Abilene Christian
Newcomer of the Year: Kelso Peskin, Lamar
Defender of the Year: Gabi D'Alesandro, McNeese
Midfielder of the Year: Hanna Barker, Stephen F. Austin
Forward of the Year: Savannah LaRicci, McNeese
Goalkeeper of the Year: Emma Roccaforte, McNeese
Coach of the Year: Steve Holeman, Lamar
2017 Southland Conference Soccer All-Conference Teams
|D||Gabi D'Alesandro2||McNeese||Sr.||Flower Mound, Texas|
|F||Savannah LaRicci2||McNeese||Sr.||Sugar Land, Texas|
|GK||Emma Roccaforte||McNeese||Fr.||Nederland, Texas|
|D||Nikki Schaaf||McNeese||Sr.||Cypress, Texas|
|MF||Nola Prickett||McNeese||Jr.||Hemet, Calif.|
* - At-large selection
2 – Two-time all-conference selection
3 – Three-time all-conference selection
Honorable Mention: Forwards: Havana Johnson, McNeese
The Southland Conference Soccer All-Conference Teams are nominated and voted upon by the league's head coaches and SIDs. Each team consists of three defenders, three midfielders, three forwards and a goalkeeper, plus an at-large selection which is given to the next highest vote recipient regardless of position (not including goalkeepers). To receive honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
The Cowgirls are headed to Corpus Christi this week to compete for the SLC Tournament trophy for the second consecutive year. Their 12-5-1 record is the best in program history since 2007