Trio of Lions Earn Women's Soccer All-America Honors
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., December 10, 2004 - Three Penn State women's soccer players earned All-America distinction Friday, as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in conjunction with the men's College Cup that is being held this weekend. M.A.C. Hermann Trophy finalist Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.) and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Natalie Jacobs (Centreville, Va.) both garnered first team All-America honors, while goalkeeper Erin McLeod (Vancouver, B.C.) grabbed a third team nod.
"I am extremely pleased to have three of our players honored as All-Americans this year," said head coach Paula Wilkins. "To have all three of them returning to Penn State next year is even more exciting. All of these players are exceptional, but to excel like they did this year is truly a credit to our team as a whole."
Penn State's was one of four teams to place two players on the first team, matching North Carolina, Portland and Princeton. The Nittany Lions were the only team of those four to also land another player on either the second or third team as well. Other schools that also placed three players on the All-America teams were NCAA champion Notre Dame and Kansas.
Weimer is Penn State's third repeat All-American, while Jacobs and McLeod are the Lions' sixth and seventh All-Americans all-time.
This year, Jacobs joined McLeod to lead a defense that allowed only 0.47 goals per game, which ranks second nationally. Jacobs was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for her 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. Her defensive efforts propelled the Lions to 15 shutouts this season, including nine in the Big Ten regular season. The Lion defense also helped push the team to victories over eight Top 25 teams, and earn 10 consecutive shutouts at one point this season. This is Jacobs' first All-American selection.
Weimer, the Lions' go-to weapon all season and this year's Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, is earning All-America honors for her second consecutive year after landing a spot on the first team last year. One of three finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, given to college soccer's player of the year, she was fourth in the nation in goal-scoring with a 1.13 goals per game average and was second in scoring with a 2.78 points per game average.
Weimer scored in 20-out-of-23 games for the Lions this season. At one point, she had a 13-game goal-scoring streak going, just two away from tying the NCAA mark. Weimer netted 26 goals, just one off the Penn State school record mark, and 12 assists this year for 64 points. She started every game the Nittany Lions and put .637% of the shots she took on goal. A six-time recipient of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week this year, she scored six game winners for the Lions.
The Lions' junior transfer goalkeeper, McLeod earned first team All-Big Ten honors this year, her first in the league, after pitching eight regular-season conference shutouts. McLeod is second nationally in goals against average with a 0.43 mark. McLeod tallied a total of 11 shutouts this year and helped the Lions best eight Top 25 teams, including two Top 10 opponents. She was part of the Lion string of 10 straight shutouts towards the end of the season. The All-America nod is her first.
The Nittany Lions finished their season with a 19-3-1 record and earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State's season came to a close when they were edged 1-0 by a feisty Maryland team on Jeffrey Field on Nov. 14.