Black and Brannan highlight list as Second-Team selections, while Cashman and Allen grab Honorable Mention
Eastern vs. Gonzaga
Sunday, Nov. 4 | 2:30 p.m. PST
Gonzaga Soccer Field | Spokane, Wash.
Standing out from the crowd, four players from the Eastern Washington University women’s soccer team were recognized by the league’s nine head coaches as members of the All-Big Sky Conference team, released Tuesday (Oct. 30) by the league office.
The first and second teams are comprised of one goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders, and three forwards. Coaches cannot vote for their own players.
Sophomore forward Cassie Black and junior defender Brianna Brannan were named to the All-Big Sky Second Team – the first postseason accolade for both players.
All-Big Sky Honorable Mention accolades were awarded to sophomore defender Katie Cashman and junior midfielder Katy Allen. This is Cashman’s second year making the Honorable Mention list after being recognized in her rookie season. As a transfer in her first season with Eastern, it is the first postseason award for Allen.
“With 10 teams in the league now, you really have to stand out to be recognized,” said head coach George Hageage. “That is why I am really proud of our two second team award winners and our honorable mention players.”
In 2012, Black led the Eagles with eight goals and two assists for a total of 18 points. She started 16 of 17 matches, contributing 1,159 total minutes. The Battle Ground, Wash., native also tallied 43 shots – more than doubling her tally from the previous year. Black put 28 of those shots on goal for a .651 on goal percentage.
In Big Sky Conference statistics, Black tied for second in goals and took third place in overall points. She came in at fifth in shots, while holding the number two spot in game-winning goals with four on the year.
Black also ranked nationally in four categories, appearing among the top 150 Division I players. Black placed 112th in both total goals and goals per game, 148th in points per game, and grabbed 35th place in game-winning goals.
With a total of four game-winning goals in 2012, Black broke the school record for most game-winners in a single season, edging out Brittany Sparks who scored three in 2009. She also overtook the career record for game-winning goals with a total of six, surpassing the previous record of five set by Cyeeta Mott between 2004-2007.
On top of that, Black tied the school record for most goals scored in a single game after securing a hat-trick in the match against North Dakota on Oct. 5.
Black was named Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week three times (Sept. 11, Sept. 18, and Oct. 9), making her the only player in the league to receive the accolade more than once this season.
Alongside Black on the All-Conference Second Team was Brannan – a starter in all 15 matches in which she appeared. Hailing from Kennewick, Wash., Brannan was a staple on Eastern’s defense and only missed the last two matches after breaking her ankle in the last home game against Montana on Oct. 12. She totaled 1,275 minutes in 2012, doubling her playing time from the year before.
As a defender, Brannan recorded one shot and successfully put it on frame. She also contributed defensively in three shutouts for the Eagles.
“We were elated that Brianna and Cassie were recognized by the other Big Sky coaches,” said Hageage. “Cassie had a great year. She was in the top three in almost all stat categories, so for her to be recognized is great. And then Brianna comes out of nowhere and stepped up as a force in the back. She really deserved the second team mention.”
Cashman, a sophomore from Granite Falls, Wash., earned Honorable Mention accolades for the second consecutive year. She started in all 17 matches for the Eagles, tallying 1,563 total minutes – the most on the team.
Although a defender, Cashman had an offensive presence as well, contributing six shots with one on goal. She also aided in all five of Eastern’s shutouts, including a 0-0 tie against Northern Arizona (Oct. 19) to break a seven-year losing streak against the Lumberjacks.
Allen joins Cashman on the Honorable Mention list, starting in 13 games in her first year with the Eagles. She stepped up and quickly took over the central midfield position after junior Marianne Johnson and senior Lauren Jacobsen suffered knee injuries that prematurely ended their seasons.
Allen originates from Yakima, Wash., and transferred to Eastern from Yakima Valley Community College. She recorded three shots in 1,024 minutes, putting two on goal for a .667 on goal percentage.
“I thought Katie [Cashman] played really well on defense with Brianna,” said Hageage. “Those two were a formidable pair as far as center backs go. Katy Allen did a really good job for us stepping in as a JC transfer. She held the middle position really well, especially considering it was a position she had never played before. We are really happy for these two – they both worked really hard.”
The Eagles conclude the 2012 season against cross-town rival Gonzaga on Sunday (Nov. 4) at Gonzaga Soccer Field in Spokane, Wash. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.