Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications
Junior midfielder Aria Whitney and head coach Justin Wagar headlined the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Soccer postseason honors as Whitney took home SWAC Midfielder of the Year honors, while Wagar earned the coveted SWAC Head Coach of the Year Award, announced by the conference on Wednesday evening.
Whitney was one of the leaders of the GSU soccer team, making numerous plays on the offensive and defensive sides of the field. She played in all 200 games, scoring four goals and dishing out five assists, the second most in the SWAC. Defensively, she has been a force, helping the Tigers hold nine opponents scoreless and rank No. 2 in goals allowed (24).
Wagar has led GSU on sensational run since returning as head coach. This season, he guided the Tigers to a 12-4-4 overall record and earned the No. 1 seed in this year’s SWAC Tournament by going 8-0-1 in conference play. Over the past two seasons, GSU has only lost one regular season SWAC match, posting a 13-1-4 record dating back to last year. His Tigers rank No. 2 in the SWAC in goals scored and goals allowed this season.
In total, seven GSU Soccer student-athletes garnered All-SWAC accolades. That number was the most in the conference.
Adrianna Pratt, Karlyn Judge, Aria Whitney and Samantha Diaz earned first team honors, while Kaylen Jankans, Beatriz Kretteis and Madison Covey-Taylor nabbed second team recognition.
Pratt, the SWAC preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was once again one of the elite defenders in the conference. Her speed and intensity paced a stingy GSU defense. She played 1415 total minutes.
Judge solidified herself as one of the elite scorers in the SWAC, scoring eight goals a team-high eight goals with six assists. She registered 22 points which ranks No. 1 in the SWAC. She posted two multi-goal game for the Tigers, scoring two goals against Alabama A&M on Oct. 1 and two goals versus South Carolina State on Oct. 13.
Diaz was also a key contributor to the Grambling State offense, leading the SWAC in assists with seven and notching one goal.
Jankans was strong on defense for GSU, making thwarting multiple scoring chances for opposing teams and helping lead the defense alongside Pratt. Jankans was also an important piece of the offense, registering two assists.
Kretteis was the second leading goal scorer for the Tigers this season, putting six shots in the back of the net, good for fourth-most in the conference. She also ranked second in the SWAC in assists with five. She netted two goals in GSU’s regular season finale versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Covey-Taylor proved tp be one of the best goalkeepers in the SWAC this year, posting the lowest goals against average in the SWAC (.943). She also ranked second in shutouts with three and her 47 saves ranked her third in the conference. The Lodi, Calif. native was without a doubt, a huge part of GSU’s success during the regular season.