Nov. 3, 2011
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--For the second straight season senior forward Katie Ryan (Wayne, N.J.) has been named to the All-BIG EAST First Team and she is joined in receiving postseason recognition by redshirt freshman midfielder Stephanie Myers (Downingtown, Pa.), who earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST Rookie Team. The league announced its annual awards this evening at the Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa during its annual postseason banquet.
Ryan is only the third forward in school history to be a first team All-BIG EAST selection multiple times during her career. She is one of the top offensive performers in the history of the Villanova program and this season ranks among the top five in the BIG EAST in goals, points and game-winning goals.
This season Ryan scored 12 goals and dished out five assists to finish the year with 29 points, while counting four game-winning goals among her 12 tallies. She scored two goals in a game on two different occasions and her dozen goals tallied on the year represent a single-season career high.
Ryan also saved her best efforts for conference play and registered six goals, three assists and 15 points versus BIG EAST opponents. That production includes a six-point game (two goals, two assists) in a 4-1 win over nationally-ranked West Virginia as well as a two-goal effort in a win at DePaul.
During the season Ryan established a new school record for career game-winning goals and finished her collegiate career with 15 game-winning tallies. Ryan also ranks second in school history in shots, third in goals and points and is tied for seventh in assists. Her career totals in 77 games for the Wildcats are 40 goals, 22 assists and 102 points, while she has attempted 206 shots.
Ryan ends her Villanova career as a three-time All-BIG EAST selection. She received second team accolades as a sophomore in 2009 and was a first team selection last season. Ryan is the sixth player from the Wildcats to be named an all-conference selection at least three times, with Laura Johnson (2001-04) the only other forward in that group.
Villanova had a potent offensive attack this season and Ryan was at the forefront of the Wildcats attack. So too was Myers, who was eligible for the Rookie Team honors after being awarded a medical redshirt after playing in five games as a true freshman last year.
Fully healthy this season, Myers broke out in a big way for Villanova and finished the year with seven goals, five assists and 19 points. She recorded her first career game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh and like Ryan was at her best in the biggest games. Myers tallied four goals, three assists and 11 points in regular season conference play.
At the end of the regular season Myers ranked among the BIG EAST leaders in goals and points and during the year was named to the league's weekly honor roll after following her game-winning goal against the Panthers with both a goal and an assist in the win over West Virginia.
It was very early in the season that the Wildcats saw a glimpse of the season Myers would have. She notched her first career assist on the only Villanova goal in the season opener versus James Madison and two games later scored twice in the first half of a 3-2 win at Georgia, the first time ever that Villanova played on the road against a Southeastern Conference opponent. Myers also registered both of her team's goals against Louisville, twice giving the Wildcats the lead with her two tallies.
With the recognition of both Ryan and Myers as all-conference performers Villanova has now had at least two All-BIG EAST selections for 11 consecutive years. Since the conference started doling out postseason awards back in 1995 the Wildcats have now had 15 first team honorees and eight picks to the rookie team.
There were six major award winners at the league banquet on Thursday night, with Christine Exeter of Louisville being chosen as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Kerry McBride and Natalie Kulla of Marquette were named the top defensive player and top goalkeeper, respectively, while Ingrid Wells of Georgetown was the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year. Kate Schwindel of West Virginia earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Year honors and Karen Ferguson-Dayes of Louisville was the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.