USU soccer places three on the All-WAC First Team; Flanary named Offensive Player of the Year

BOISE, Idaho – Three Utah State soccer players were named all-Western Athletic Conference as voted on by the league’s nine coaches; it was announced Wednesday in Boise the site of the WAC Tournament. Forward Shantel Flanary, defender Lindsey Smart and midfielder Chandra Salmon earned honors for the Aggies. Flanary, who earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2008, was named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Year. She is the first USU soccer player to earn the honor. Flanary is the second Utah State athlete in the last two weeks to earn the honor after men’s cross country runner Brian McKenna was named WAC Cross Country Athlete of the Year on Oct. 31. “I can’t describe how satisfying this award is,” Flanary said. “It is nice that not only my coaches noticed, but the other coaches noticed as well. It feels good to me; not just how I did, but how team the has done. This is a team award as well. We did really good at the end of the season. We have gotten better each match.” The all-WAC honor was Flanary’s second after earning second-team accolades last season. She ended WAC play with five goals and one assist for 11 points. She was tied for first in conference matches in both goals and points scored. Overall, she has 10 goals and three assists for a team-leading 23 points. “Flanary is really dangerous not only to score, but she has also really been doing her best to help her teammates score as well through crosses and getting to the end line and cutting the ball back,” Cairns said. “I think Flanary is a very well-rounded attacker being able to both score and assist for her teammates.” This is the second-straight season that the Aggies have placed three players on the first team. Last season, USU also added four on the second team. Since joining the WAC in 2005, Utah State has earned 20 all-WAC honors. Senior defender Lindsey Smart was named to the all-WAC first-team for the third-straight season. With the honor, Smart becomes the first USU soccer player to earn all-conference honors four-straight seasons since Jayme Gordy (1997-2000) did it in the Big West Conference. Smart is the only player to do it all in the WAC. Smart is part of the Aggie backline that has allowed only seven goals in WAC matches. “That kid is so determined,” Cairns said of Smart. “I love that she would take those awards and trade them all in for the conference tournament award for her team. The last couple matches we have really seen her play her best soccer.” Sophomore midfielder Chandra Salmon earned first-team all-WAC honors for the second-straight season. She is the first Aggie to earn first-team honors her first two seasons. Salmon has played the bulk of the season as a defensive midfielder. “Salmon is a destroyer. It allows our other midfielders to do so much, knowing that she can sit back and destroy anything that comes our way.” San Jose State sophomore Jessica Ingram earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, while Idaho’s Chelsea Small was named Freshman of the Year. San Jose State head coach Jeff Leightman, who led his squad to the regular season title and the No. 1 seed, was named Coach of the Year. The second-seeded Aggies will begin play at the WAC Tournament in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. (MT). USU will take on the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal match between No. 3 Boise State and No. 6 Fresno State. First Team all-WAC Emmy Belding, F, Sr., San Jose State Shantel Flanary, F, So., Utah State Roxy Kamal, F, Sr., San Jose State Chelsea Small, F, Fr., Idaho Hallsie Pacheco, MF, Sr., San Jose State Mari Punzal, MF, Jr., Hawai’i Chandra Salmon, MF, So., Utah State Jessica Ingram, D, So., San Jose State Lindsay Roberts, D, So., Boise State Lindsey Smart, D, Sr., Utah State Katie Graul, GK, Sr., New Mexico State Second Team all-WAC Natalie Ratnavira, F, So., Nevada Shannon Saxton, F, Jr., Boise State Ambree Ako, F, Sr., Hawai’i Britta Bourne, F, Sr., Hawai’i Brandy Hickcox, MF, So., Boise State Molly Nizzoli, MF, So., Fresno State Jazmin Cardoso, MF, Fr., New Mexico State Kendall VanDine, D, So., Fresno State Vanessa Gonzales, D, Fr., Fresno State Annabelle Allen, D, So., Nevada Nina Butera, GK, Jr., San Jose State Offensive Player of the Year: Shantel Flanary, So., F, Utah State Defensive Player of the Year: Jessica Ingram, So., D, San Jose State Freshman of the Year: Chelsea Small, Fr., F, Idaho Coach of the Year: Jeff Leightman, San Jose State -USU-

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!