ATLANTA – Six Birmingham-Southern women's soccer student-athletes received Southern Athletic Association All-Conference honors, the SAA announced Monday.
Two of the six Panther players were honored with the Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards. BSC had three First Team players, two Second Team players, and one Honorable Mention.
Junior forward Taylor Andrews (Watkinsville, Ga./Oconee County HS), a member of the All-SAA First Team, was named the 2017 SAA Women's Soccer Player of the Year for her performance this season. Andrews scored 14 goals in 18 games, including the conference tournament. On the year, she added four assists and finished the 2017 campaign with 32 points.
Andrews was among the tops in the conference in every offensive category, and also showed versatility on the field, moving from forward to midfield to defender in games throughout the year.
Freshman midfielder Abby Kay Choate (Tifton, Ga./Tifton County HS), also a member of the All-SAA First Team, was selected as the Newcomer of the Year. Choate finished her season with 11 goals and three assists. She was the second leading scorer for BSC, the top freshman scorer in the conference and was top five in the SAA in goals and points.
The third BSC member of the All-SAA First Team was freshman goalkeeper Blakley Jones (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Holy Spirit Catholic HS). Jones finished the season with 69 saves and a .767 save percentage. In 2017, Jones kept four clean sheets and five matches with seven or more saves.
Sophomore defender Eva Byrum (Hoover, Ala./Hoover HS) and freshman forward Nicole Bernal (Odenville, Ala./John Carroll Catholic HS) were selected as All-SAA Second Teamers, while freshman forward Sydney Barrow (Birmingham, Ala./Indian Springs HS) received Honorable Mention.
Byrum played a big role on the back line, helping the Panthers to six shutouts this season. She also added a goal and an assist on the offensive end.
Bernal contributed to BSC's offensive attack with six goals and five assists on the year, as did Barrow who had seven goals and a team-high six assists.
Finally, it was BSC's second-year head coach David DiPiazza that earned the title of 2017 SAA Coach of the Year. DiPiazza, after going 7-10-1 in his first year, led the Panthers to a 15-4 overall record this season and the No. 2 seed in the SAA Tournament. It is the first SAA Coach of the Year award for DiPiazza.