NewsLady Cougars Land Three on NCCAA All-American First Team
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women's soccer team, which won the 2003 National Christian College Athletic Association national title, has landed three players on the NCCAA All-American First Team.
Cheryl Balogh, Kristen Votapek, and Catherine Hess claimed three of the 12 spots on the NCCAA All-American First Team as the Lady Cougars were the most represented school. Three other schools, Spring Arbor (Mich.) University, Malone College, and Trinity International (Ill.) University, each had two players selected.
Balogh, a senior defender from Lima, Ohio, was named an NCCAA First Team All-American for the second straight year and also received the NCCAA's Michelle Akers/Wittnauer Award as the top all-around player. The former All-Ohioan at Elida High School helped anchor the MVNU defense that allowed just 12 goals in 24 matches while posting a school-record 15 shutouts. Balogh also registered one assist to finish her career ranked fifth in school history with 15 assists.
Votapek, a sophomore forward from Amelia, Ohio, broke her own school records by scoring 32 goals and recording 73 total points. The former Amelia High School standout also was second on the team with nine assists. Votapek now ranks first in career goals at MVNU with 58, first in career points with 134, and third in career assists with 18. She was an NCCAA Honorable Mention All-American last year.
Hess, a junior forward from Hillsboro, Ohio, combined with Votapek as the top scoring combination in the American Mideast Conference and NAIA Region IX. The former All-Ohioan at Hillsboro High School scored a career-high 19 goals and 54 total points and broke her own school record with 16 assists. Hess has also become the Lady Cougars' career leader in assists with 35, and she ranks second in both career goals (43) and career points (121).
MVNU head coach Jonathan Meade was selected as the NCCAA National Coach of the Year after the Lady Cougars finished the season with a 20-3-1 overall record. MVNU also won the AMC South Division crown and the NCCAA national title in only the program's fourth year as a varsity sport.