Skelly Selected as NWC Offensive Player of the Year; Arthur is Coach of the Year

Seven Bearcats Earn All-NWC Recognition

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Stephanie Skelly (Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS), a senior midfielder at Willamette University, has been chosen as the Northwest Conference Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year for 2011, as determined in voting by the NWC head coaches. In addition, Willamette Head Coach Hillary Arthur has been named NWC Women's Soccer Coach of the Year.

Anisa Babar, a senior defender from Whitworth University, was named NWC Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Year.

The top awards for Skelly and Arthur highlighted a solid showing by the Bearcats on the All-NWC Women's Soccer Team, which was released on Wednesday, Nov. 9. In addition, Skelly was named First Team All-NWC, Andi Rowan (Jr., MF, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) was selected Second Team All-NWC and five WU players earned Honorable Mention.

Willamette players receiving Honorable Mention were Sabine Wetzel (So., D, Martinez, CA/Campolindo HS), Shannon Scott (Jr., D, Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS), Ariel Wilson (Jr., MF, Fort Collins, CO/Poudre HS), Ashland Bernard (Fr., F, Kirkland, WA/Juanita HS) and Sarah Desautels (Fr., F, Snohomish, WA/Glacier Peak HS).

First Team All-NWC

Stephanie Skelly Stephanie Skelly (Sr., MF)

Skelly scored 16 goals and earned 5 assists for 37 points this season. She led the NWC in goal scoring and overall scoring, and tallied two goals in the same game six times. She contributed three game-winning goals, giving her 10 game-winning goals during her career.

In four seasons at Willamette, Skelly scored 35 goals to go with 7 assists for 77 total points. She played in 75 games with 70 starts. She took 196 total shots with 97 shots on goal. Skelly was named First Team All-Northwest Conference in 2009 and was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2010.

Skelly increased her goal scoring each season. She earned two goals as a freshman in 2008, before tallying six goals in 2009 and achieving 11 goals in 2010. This year's total of 16 goals was a career-high and the most by a WU women's soccer player since Buffy Morris scored 20 goals in 2001.

In addition to her success on the field, Skelly recently was chosen First Team Capitol One NCAA Division III Academic All-District VIII. It was the second year in a row that Skelly was selected for Academic All-District honors by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Second Team All-NWC

Andi Rowan Andi Rowan (Jr., MF)

Rowan provided steady play both on defense and on the attack. Her defensive efforts helped secure the midfield, which enabled Willamette to earn five shutouts and hold nine opponent to one goal. Rowan's work in the middle also contributed to the Bearcats scoring 37 goals during the season. Rowan provided 1 goal and 3 assists for 5 total points. She started all 20 games.

Since arriving at Willamette as a freshman in 2009, Rowan has played in 59 games -- all as a starter. She has registered 5 goals and 7 assists for 17 points. She has taken 58 shots, including 27 shots on goal. She has been named Second Team All-NWC three times.

Honorable Mention All-NWC

Sabine Wetzel Sabine Weztel (So., D)

Wetzel was a key member of the Willamette defense that finished the year with a 1.33 goals against average. She played in 17 games with 15 starts, despite battling injuries several times during the season. Confident and skilled as a dribbler and passer, she also contributed 1 goal and 1 assist on offense.

In two seasons at WU, she has seen action in 37 games, including 32 starts. She has supplied the Bearcats with 5 goals and 1 assist. She played mostly in the midfield as a freshman in 2010.

Shannon Scott Shannon Scott (Jr., D)

Scott started all 20 games on defense this season and led the Bearcats with 18:31 minutes played. She was a leader on the back line and also took most of Willamette's goal kicks.

Her efforts played a big role in allowing Willamette to shut out five opponents. In addition to being skilled on defense, she also contributed upfield on occasion and registered a goal against George Fox University on Oct 2. In three seasons with the Bearcats, she has played in all 60 games with 53 starts.

Ariel Wilson Ariel Wilson (Jr., MF)

Wilson finished the year second on WU's scoring chart with 3 goals and 5 assists for 11 total points. She earned her goals in wins over Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 22, George Fox on Oct. 29 and Whitworth University on Nov. 4. The 2-0 win over Whitworth clinched third place in the NWC standings for the Bearcats.

She was a starter in all 20 games, and has played in 53 games in her career with 39 career starts. She has taken 49 total shots, including 21 shots on goal. She has scored 7 goals and supplied 7 assists (21 points) in her career.

Ashland Bernard Ashland Bernard (Fr., F)

Bernard provided a positive impact on the Bearcat as a freshman this season. She received playing time in 16 games, including 12 against NWC opponents. She earned three starts. She helped win the ball in the midfield and also contributed in the attacking third, as she recorded 2 goals and 1 assist.

She took Willamette's only penalty kick of the season and converted the effort in a 5-1 win over Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 22. She also scored a goal against Pacific in a 2-1 loss on Oct. 30 and registered an assist in the Bearcats' 2-1 victory over the University of Puget Sound on Oct. 23.

Sarah Desautels Sarah Desautels (Fr., F)

Desautels was a key contributor in linking Willamette's defense to the attack. She consistently gathered passes from the back line and maintained possession until WU surged forward on offense. Once the Bearcats were attacking, she continued to supply quality plays, as she garnered 3 goals and 2 assists (8 points).

She started all 20 games and took 28 shots with 14 shots on goal. She recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over arch rival Linfield on Sept. 25. She also scored a goal against Pacific on Oct. 1 and George Fox on Oct. 2, as she created a three-game goal-scoring streak.

The 2011 Season

Hillary Arthur Head Coach Hillary Arthur

Under Arthur's guidance, Willamette concluded the season with an 11-8-1 record. The Bearcats went 10-5-1 (31 points) in the NWC, good for third place. WU was picked to finish sixth in the NWC Preseason Poll.

Arthur has completed four seasons as the head coach of the Bearcats. She owns a combined record of 39-36-5 (.519) at Willamette.

All-Northwest Conference
Women's Soccer Team for 2011
Stephanie Skelly was named NWC Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year.

Stephanie Skelly was named NWC Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year.