Penn State¡¯s Weimer Garners Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Jacobs Named Defensive Player of the Year
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., November 3, 2004 ¡ª The No. 3 Penn State women¡¯s soccer team, who just captured their seventh-straight Big Ten regular season title, saw six Lions and their coach honored tonight in Columbus as part of this year¡¯s all-Big Ten honors. Preseason national player of the year candidate Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.) was named the league¡¯s Offensive Player of the Year, as well as earning a unanimous spot on the All-Big Ten¡¯s first team, while junior All-American candidate Natalie Jacobs (Centreville, Va.) was named the Big Ten¡¯s Defensive Player of the Year. Head coach Paula Wilkins earned her second straight Big Ten Coach of the Year honor for guiding the Lions though a perfect 10-0 conference season.
In addition to Jacobs and Weimer¡¯s first team honors, junior goalkeeper Erin McLeod (Vancouver, B.C.) and sophomore midfielder Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.) also earned a spot on the first team all-conference list. Senior midfielder Amanda Lentz (Plymouth, Mich.) and freshman defender Denay Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.) both earned slots on the Big Ten¡¯s second team, with Riley garnering selection on the conference¡¯s all-freshman team as well.
The number of total award recipients, six, is the second highest in Penn State history, following seven in 2000. The Lions also posted six in 2001 and last year in 2003. Weimer and Jacobs¡¯ selection as the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year mark the first year the award has been split. A Nittany Lion has won Big Ten Player of the Year four other times, with Joanna Lohman winning last year and Christie Welsh winning in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
No. 3 Penn State begins Big Ten action on Thursday, Nov. 4, vs. Indiana at 10:30 a.m. The Lions are the No. 1 seed after capturing their seventh-straight Big Ten regular season title with a 10-0 conference record. The Hoosiers enter the tournament as the No. 8 seed. The game can be followed live on www.GoPSUSports.com via gametracker.
2004 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
A preseason M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate, Weimer has not disappointed. She was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree last season, and is currently ranked second nationally in points per game and goals per game. She also leads the conference in both categories. Weimer scored in every conference game, and has scored in 17-out-of-18 games for the Lions. She is currently on an 11-game goal-scoring streak heading into the Big Ten Tournament. Weimer has netted 22 goals and 9 assists thus far for 53 points. The junior striker is on several Penn State career list including: goals (No. 4, 55), points (No. 4, 134), and game-winning goals (No. 6, 14). She has started every game thus far for the No. 3 Nittany Lions and puts .633% of the shots she takes on goal. A six-time recipient of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week this year, she has six game winners for the Lions. This is Weimer¡¯s second consecutive selection to the All-Big Ten first team, and her first as a unanimous choice. Her Offensive Player of the Year honor is the first of her career.
2004 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
A three-year starter on the No. 3-ranked Nittany Lions, she is on a defense that is allowing only 0.27 goals per game, which is ranked first nationally. Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for her defensive efforts in two shutouts (vs. Michigan and Michigan State), while adding an assist to lift Penn State over the Wolverines with less than five minutes to play in overtime. Jacobs also lent the overtime assist with little time remaining in the game at then-No. 8 Connecticut. Jacobs¡¯ defensive efforts have propelled the Lions to 14 shutouts this season, including nine in the Big Ten. The Lion defense has also helped push the team to victories over seven Top 25 teams thus far, and has earned nine consecutive shutouts heading into the Big Ten Tournament. This is Jacobs¡¯ second All-Big Ten selection, but marks her first spot on the first team after earning second team honors in 2003.
First Team All-Big Ten
Penn State¡¯s starting goalkeeper in her first year since transferring, she has a goals against average of 0.19, which is ranked first in the nation and tops in the Big Ten. McLeod has pitched 10 shutouts including 8 shutouts in the Big Ten. The junior has helped the Lions best seven Top 25 teams thus far, including two Top 10 opponents. In combination with the Lion defense, has earned nine-straight shutouts.
First Team All-Big Ten
Starting every game this season in the midfield, Krieger has scored three goals and two assists this year for the No. 3 Lions. She scored twice, including the gamewinner, vs. then-No. 19 Maryland and also added an assist in the game. Her other goal came in conference play vs. Iowa. This is Krieger¡¯s first all-conference honor after being selected the 2003 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Second Team All-Big Ten
In what is a breakout year for Lentz, she has accumulated five goals, seven assists and 17 points, all of which best her previous career highs. Lentz scored the gamewinner at then-No. 8 UCONN with less than five minutes remaining in overtime. Lentz was also credited with the gamewinner at then-No. 18 Wisconsin. She also lent the game-winning assist on Alli Donofrio¡¯s goal at Michigan State. This is Lentz¡¯s first All-Big Ten selection of her career.
Second Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten All-Freshman Team
The only freshman starter on the No. 3-ranked Nittany Lions, she is on a defense that is allowing only 0.27 goals per game, which is ranked first nationally. Riley¡¯s defensive efforts have propelled the Lions to 14 shutouts this season, including nine in the Big Ten. The Lion defense has also helped push the team to victories over seven Top 25 teams thus far.