Three Nittany Lions Named to First Team All-Big Ten
Senior Annelise Legel (Morgantown, Pa.) and juniors Shaun Banta (Gibbsboro, N.J.) and Kiersten Wood (Lititz, Pa.) were named first team All-Big Ten while sophomore Jen Long (Doylestown, Pa.) garnered second team honors. Wood is a repeat selection to the first team while Legel, Banta and Long are all first-time all conference honorees on either team. The all conference teams and postseason awards were announced at a banquet on Thursday night on the eve of the conference tournament at the University of Michigan.
Legel has served as a co-captain of the Nittany Lions this year and has contributed on both offense and defense for the Nittany Lions after moving to the midfield from forward. On the year, she has started all 17 games and has scored four goals and recorded three assists for 11 total points. She has taken 43 shots and put 25 of them on goal, which are both second on the team. While her offensive totals are down from last year (14g. 5a, 33p last year), she has taken on more of a defensive role this year in the midfield and in that position has helped contribute to Penn State¡¯s Big Ten-leading defense. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten for the second straight year in goals against average and fewest goals allowed.
For the second straight year, Banta leads Penn State in both goals and points. Her 13 goals and 29 points both are tops on the Nittany Lions while the 13 goals also lead the Big Ten. She has a goal-scoring streak of seven straight games earlier this year, which included four multiple-goal games and a natural hat trick earlier this year. She also has three assists on the year, two of which have come on game-winning goals.
Wood started all 17 games this year and has been a model of consistency for the Nittany Lions over her first three years at Penn State, as she has played in and started all but one game over the last three seasons. She was also a first team selection last year and two years ago was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She has scored five goals and recorded four assists on the year for a total of 14 points. She has taken just 20 shots on the year but has put 14 of them on goal.
Long also started all 17 games this year and has started every game of her career. She has been a rock on the stout Penn State defense that has allowed just 18 goals on the season, the fewest in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions also lead the Big Ten in fewest goals allowed per game, goals against average and shutouts. Penn State is also ranked seventh in the country in goals against average. Long has made one defensive save on the year and is second on the team in assists with seven, a career high. She recorded her seven assists in seven different games this year, including a stretch with five assists in a seven-game span.
Senior back Carey Maser (Medford, N.J.) was Penn State¡¯s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. A co-captain on this year¡¯s team, Maser scored one goal on the year and was also a big part of the aforementioned defense. Maser is now a candidate for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, in which the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
Legel is the second member of her family to be named to an All-Big Ten team, as her older sister Timarie was a first team selection for the Nittany Lions in 2003 and a second team pick in 2001 and 2002.
Penn State¡¯s three first team All-Big Ten selections mark the third time in the last four seasons that the Nittany Lions have had at least three first team selections. This is the 12th time in Penn State¡¯s 15 years in the Big Ten that it has had at least three first team All-Big Ten honorees. The top four teams in the Big Ten standings dominated the all-conference first team as Ohio State, Indiana and Penn State all had three first team selections while Michigan had two.