LATHAM, N.Y. — The Penn State Berks women's soccer team swept the individual awards and had five members named to the All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) first team and two on the second team, as announced by the league office on Thursday morning (Nov. 7).
Alexis Schoener was named the NEAC Women's Soccer Player of the Year, Karina Raykova earned NEAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Sara Hathaway was the recipient of the NEAC Rookie of the Year honor. Adrian Munteanu was selected by his peers as the NEAC Women's Soccer Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career.
This marks the seventh straight year that Berks has received the NEAC Women's Soccer Player of the Year award after four straight by Dana Sarcinello (2013-16) and two years by Caitlin Golden (2017, 2018). The NEAC Defensive Player of the Year honor was the fifth time a Berks player earned the award, first time since the 2017 season. This is the sixth Rookie of the Year honor for the Nittany Lions and the first since 2017.
Schoener and Raykova were named to the All-NEAC First Team and were joined by teammates Emily Clapper, Megan Jardine and Emily Stump. Hathaway and Charlotte Pizzuto were All-NEAC Second Team selections to round out the Nittany Lions receiving awards.
Schoener, who was an All-NEAC First Team selection last season, has been the top scoring threat in the NEAC this season. The sophomore forward has started and played all 19 games this season. She has recorded 18 goals and 43 points, which leads the NEAC and ranks 25th in the country for goals and 23rd for points. Schoener also has dished out seven assists, which is the fifth most in the NEAC. She has tallied three game-winning goals, including two against NEAC opponents. Schoener has recorded five games with two or more goals, including a career-high four goals against Morrisville State.
Clapper received conference recognition for the first time in her career this season. The sophomore midfielder has started and played in all 19 games this season. She ranks second in the NEAC in goals scored (17) and points (40), trailing only Schoener. She ranks 34th in the country for her goals scored, while her point total is 35th in the nation. Clapper also has recorded six assists, which is the sixth most in the conference. She has scored three or more goals on four occasions, including a career-high four in a win over Cazenovia College.
Jardine has now received all-conference recognition all four years of her career, and this marks her second time earning All-NEAC First Team honors. The senior has started and played in all 19 games, splitting time in the midfield and on the defensive back line. She has recorded six goals and 11 assists for 23 points. Jardine is the NEAC leader in assists, while ranking 13th in points. She ranks 17th in Division III with her assist total, while her .58 assists per game average is 22nd in the country. Jardine netted a pair of game-winners, including a goal in overtime against the University of Scranton, which was regionally ranked at the time.
Raykova, who previously earned first team (2017) and second team (2018) honors, has been one of the key parts of the Nittany Lions stingy defense. The senior outside back has started and appeared in all 19 games this season. Stump, who helped solidify the back line with Raykova, has played in 17 contests and made 16 starts in her first year with the Nittany Lions. Both are key pieces to a defensive unit that recorded 12 shutouts and had a 1.10 goals against average in the regular season. Against NEAC opponents, the Nittany Lions defense surrendered just one goal and allowed only 30 shots in 11 games. Raykova also was active on the offensive end of the field, recording eight goals and four assists for 20 points, while Stump notched a goal off a penalty kick in a win over SUNY Poly.
Pizzuto, who receives all-conference recognition for the third time in her career, has been a vital piece of the Nittany Lions midfield this season. The senior's versatility has helped run the offense and fortify the defense while playing and starting in all 19 games. Pizzuto has recorded four goals, three assists, and 11 total points.
Hathaway appeared in all 19 contests and made 16 starts for the Nittany Lions. The freshman forward was third on the team in scoring with nine goals and 28 points, while her 10 assists were the second most on the team. She ranks second in the NEAC in assists, while her point total is the fifth best in the conference. Hathaway ranks 21st in the country for assists and is 37th in the nation with her .53 assists per game average. Hathaway had two games with three goals scored and had a game with three assists. She netted the game-winning goal two times, both against conference opponents.
Munteanu nabs the Coach of the Year honors after guiding his team to its seventh NEAC regular season championship in eight years. He currently holds an overall record of 13-6 and the team finished 11-0 in NEAC play. Munteanu reached double-digits in wins for the eighth straight season and ninth time in the last 10 years to improve his overall record to 163-71-11.
The Nittany Lions will host the semifinal and championship rounds of the NEAC Tournament this weekend. They will take on Penn College in the first semifinal game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, followed by Penn State Harrisburg against Keuka College at 2 p.m. The winners of each semifinal match will play in the NEAC Championship at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10.