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CU women sweep soccer awards

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CU's Taylor Nay / STEVE WAMPLER photo

Cumberland University swept the Mid-South Conference Women’s Soccer postseason awards, with Taylor Nay voted Player of the Year, Olivia Chu earning Freshman of the Year and Gavin McKinney named Coach of the Year for the second straight season, as announced Wednesday by the league office.

In addition, Lindsey Kitson, Shauna Gilpin, Rhianne Parsons, Kaitlin Phillips, Mackenzie Keele and Michelle Ward were all voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference and Kristen Anstey and Reneé LaRose garnered Second Team accolades.

McKinney earned Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to the program’s first-ever regular season conference championship and a 14-2-1 overall mark. CU reached as high as No. 6 in the national rankings this year and is tied for seventh in this week’s NAIA Coaches’ Top 25. Cumberland has compiled a 52-20-2 mark during McKinney’s four seasons, including 33-5-1 over the last two years.

Nay ranks second in the Mid-South Conference with 12 assists, fifth with 34 points and eighth with 11 goals. The Sherwood Park, Alberta, native ranks 16th nationally in assists. The sophomore scored a pair of goals against Trinity International, the University of the Cumberlands and Bluefield College and handed out five assists at the Cumberlands as well.

Chu has scored six goals with three assists in 17 matches this season. The Edmonton, Alberta, native netted five of her six goals against conference opponents and ranks fourth on the club in goals.

Gilpin leads the Bulldogs with 14 goals this season and added five assists, compiling 33 total points. The St. John’s, Newfoundland, native ranks fifth in the MSC in goals and sixth in points. The junior has scored 11 goals in the last 11 matches and has five game-winning goals during the year, including during the final seconds in a 2-1 win at St. Catharine College.

Parsons is the third Cumberland player with double figure goals, recording 11 with seven assists, accumulating 29 points. The Tavistock, England, native is tied for eighth along with Nay for goals in the Mid-South Conference and ranks eighth in the league in points and fifth in assists. The senior has three game-winning goals this season, including in the final minutes against Lindsey Wilson in CU’s 1-0 victory during the regular season over the Blue Raiders.

Phillips is the team’s fifth-leading scorer with 12 points, scoring two goals with eight assists. The Edmonton native is tied for third in the league in assists. The junior handed out three assists versus the University of Pikeville and assisted on both goals at St. Catharine earlier this season.

Kitson (junior), Ward (senior) and Keele (junior) have all contributed to the club’s 0.87 goals-against-average and nine shutouts this year. Ward and Keele along with LaRose (junior) and Anstey (sophomore) all play on the backline. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents, 54-15, this season and allowed one goal or less in 14 of the team’s 17 matches.

Cumberland put together a 12-match unbeaten streak from September 10-October 26, outscoring opponents, 43-4, during the stretch. Ward and LaRose each have one goal this season, while Kitson has compiled 46 saves and a .754 save percentage in 17 matches.

Gilpin, Nay, LaRose, Keele and Kitson were all voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference last season and Parsons was a Second Team selection.

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