Oct. 31, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - Seven 49ers made the 2012 All-Big West Women's Soccer Team, with senior forward Nadia Link being named the league's offensive player of the year, the conference office announced Wednesday.
This marks Link's second-consecutive Big West Offensive Player of the Year award, while she and classmate Alex Balcer were also first-team All-Big West selections. Junior Eileen Maes and senior Kelsey Wilson both garnered second-team honors and sophomore Taylor Nelson received honorable mention recognition. Elizabeth Lyons and Hannah Sanders were also chosen to the all-freshman team.
Link (Walnut, Calif.) closed out the regular season leading the conference in shots (78), assists (9) and points (25). She also tied for third with eight goals. Link registered at least one point in eight games this year and had her first career hat trick in a 3-2 overtime win against North Texas.
Over her four years, Link has etched her name in the Long Beach State career record books. She ranks among the top-five in program history with 32 goals, 20 assists, 84 points and 208 shots attempts. Her 32 goals is just one shy of a 26-year old school record which is held by Janet Fettig (33). Link is a three-time first-team All-Big West selection and also earned NSCAA All-America and All-West Region honors in 2011.
Balcer was named to the All-Big West first team for the second year in a row. In 2012, she started every game at center back, logging 1,755 minutes and anchoring a 49er defense that has posted a 1.11 goals against average and six shutouts. In addition, Balcer has contributed on the offensive end with two goals. She was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 27. Balcer was also the Big West Tournament MVP and an NSCAA All-West Region pick in 2011.
Maes earned second-team all-conference honors in her first season at Long Beach State. A midfielder from Oakland, Calif., she has compiled a team-leading nine goals, which ranks second in the Big West, while she has also totaled three assists and 21 points. She found the back of the net in eight games and had a streak of four-straight contests with a goal from Oct. 5-14. Maes was named the Big West Offensive Player of the Week twice during the regular season.
Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.) was also a second-team All-Big West selection. A defender/midfielder, she helped LBSU post the Big West's second-best goals against average at 1.11. Wilson also finished second on the team with a career-high six assists, while adding the game-winning goal in a 2-1 comeback victory over Michigan.
Nelson is a first-time all-conference honoree as she garnered honorable mention recognition. A midfielder from Garden Grove, Calif., Nelson finished with three assists and 28 shots, 10 of which were on frame. She set up the game-winner in the 92nd minute of a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 24 Baylor.
Lyons (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Sanders (Valley Center, Calif.) rounded out the group of 49ers earning all-conference honors as they were both named to the all-freshman team. Lyons finished the regular season with two goals, three assists, seven points and 29 shot attempts, while Sanders totaled one goal, one assist and nine shots.
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