CLEVELAND, Ohio – Denison women's soccer named eight players to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference teams on Wednesday morning, led by three first-team honorees and senior Maggie Armstrong as the NCAC's Midfielder of the Year. The last time the Big Red landed eight all-conference players was in 2013 when DU posted an overall record of 9-7-3.
Earning her second Midfielder of the Year award during her career (2016), Armstrong led all conference midfielders in 2018 with nine goals and a career-high six assists, turning in 1.41 points per game for the Big Red. Also collecting All-NCAC first-team honors for the third-straight season, the four-time all-conference selection tallied a career-best five game-winning goals, good for second in the NCAC. The Wilmette, Ill. native finished her time in Granville with 28 career goals, 13 assists in 75 total matches played.
Assisting Armstrong on the offensive end was first-year Liz Gilbert who was named to the All-NCAC first-team after logging six goals and four assists during her rookie campaign. Gilbert's freshman season was highlighted by a five-point performance on two goals and one assist in a 7-1 win over Otterbein on Sept. 5.
Senior midfielder Madison Smith also joins Gilbert and Armstrong as first-team selections, one year removed from making her debut as All-NCAC honorable mention. A native of Coronado, Calif., Smith has helped lock down the Denison midfield over the last four years, totaling three goals, including one this year in a 4-0 win over Allegheny.
Landing four players on the All-NCAC second-team, junior Claire Kolff made her all-conference debut after finishing tied for second on the team with six goals while adding an assist. The native of Draper, Utah tallied three game-winning goals in 2018, including back-to-back game-winners in 1-0 victories over Wittenberg (Oct. 13) and Thomas More (Oct. 17).
Sophomores Kate Dannemiller and Kelly O'Neill joined Kolff on the second-team and freshman Katie Livingston was named honorable mention after leading a Big Red defense that allowed the fewest goals in the conference this season (11) and posted an overall goals-against average of 0.62 and nine shutouts. This was the All-NCAC debut for Dannemiller and Livingston, while O'Neill was named to the first-team in 2017.
With the help of Denison's defense, freshman goalkeeper Patil Tcholakian was named to the all-conference second team after leading the NCAC with a .878 save percentage while tallying 72 saves and posting a 0.59 goals-against average as a rookie.
In addition to the player awards, Denison head coach Gail Murphy was named the NCAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career after leading the Big Red to the 2018 North Coast Athletic Conference regular season championship after going 12-3-2 overall and 6-0-2 in conference play. In 22 total seasons at DU, Murphy has guided Denison to seven NCAC Championships, three tournament titles, and an overall record of 291-112-40.