YORK, PA – Three York College women’s soccer players were selected to the 2009 All-Capital Athletic Conference squads as announced by the conference office on Thursday. The Spartans were represented on the first team by senior defender Lauren Stewart (West River, Md./Southern) and junior forward Steph Mergler (Street, Md./North Harford) while freshman Kat Sipes (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) earned second-team accolades.
Stewart makes her second consecutive appearance on the first team. She had an impressive season season cut short but a season-ending ankle injury in the October 15 match against Gettysburg. That injury was a major factor in the Spartans finishing just 3-3 over the final six games after starting the season 11-2-1 prior to Stewart’s injury. Stewart played in and started 15 games as York got off to a very fast start. During Stewart’s four seasons, the Spartans went an impressive 54-22-8 overall while they went 23-6-1 in the Capital Athletic Conference.
Spartan head coach Vicki Sterner was happy to see her senior standout recognized.
“I was hoping that despite her injury, Lauren would get recognized as one of the best players in the conference,” says Sterner. “It has been an honor to coach her and get to see her be a very important player for us over the last four years. Because of her playing a defensive midfield position, she doesn’t have the flashy statistics but I don’t think I can overstate the importance of her to our program both on and off the field.”
Mergler had an outstanding junior campaign as she led the team with 24 points on eight goals and eight assists. She also led the Spartans in CAC play as she had 11 points on four goals and three assists in her eight conference contests. Mergler now has 17 goals and 19 assists for 53 points in her three-year Spartan career. Her 2009 numbers were all career-highs.
“Steph really had a great junior year,” stated Sterner. “I am proud of how she played all season long. She brings a great intensity to our team and I think she really stepped up this season. I am looking forward to seeing what type of senior year she can produce in 2010.”
Sipes made a significant impact on the Spartans from the first day of practice. A strong, physical player, Sipes spent the first half of the season moving around the field before she settled in as a play-making midfielder. Sipes finished the season with nine points on four goals and five assists. She also notched a game-winning goal for the Spartans.
“Kat has the potential to be an all-conference caliber player all four years,” says Sterner. “She is a tough-minded, physical player that has a very high level of skill and brings a determined attitude to our team. I am very excited to see how good she can get over the next three years.”
Sterner graduates five seniors from this year’s squad with three of those seniors being starters. York finished the 2009 campaign with a mark of 14-5-1 while they went 6-1-1 in the CAC, finishing in a tie for second.
Lauren Stewart photo courtesy of Steve Doemland (www.stevedoemland.com)