Tars Grab Coach and Defensive Player of the Year




Tars Grab Coach and Defensive Player of the Year for Second-Straight Season

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 5, 2009) - For the second season straight, the Rollins women's soccer team has grabbed two of the coveted All-Sunshine State Conference slots as head coach Tony Amato earns his second Coach of the Year honor, while junior defender Meagan Thomas was given the nod as Defensive Player of the Year along with her First Team selection.  The duo highlights a long list of Tars as Rollins placed five other players on the 2009 All-SSC team, which was announced Thursday by conference officials.

A total of 25 student-athletes were named to this season's squad, with Rachel Jakubowski, Leah Hirsch, Charlotte Murrell, Chelsea Brady, and Michelle Dillingham completing the list for Rollins.  Voting for the all-conference women's soccer team was conducted among the league's coaches and sports information directors. 

Currently in his seventh season at the helm, Amato wins his second-straight Coach of the Year honor after leading Rollins to their second consecutive SSC regular-season title with a current mark of 13-1-2 overall, and a conference record of 7-0-1.  Amato's squad has been a solid, balanced unit that boasts the toughest defense in the league, as well as sits second in the conference with 49 goals on the season.  Currently ranked in the No. 8 slot on the NSCAA Division II National Poll, the Tars eagerly prepare as they look to host the Sunshine State Conference Tournament this weekend.

Thomas gets the nod for Defensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-SSC honors, after anchoring a stingy Rollins defense throughout their epic 2009 season.  Helping the Tars lead the conference with 11 shutouts, the Ponte Vedra, Fla. native has been a staunch figure on the back line as Rollins leads the league with only 11 goals allowed, and a 0.67 goals against average.  Named to the Honorable Mention team her freshman year, and picking up Second Team All-SSC in her sophomore campaign, Thomas has consistently climbed the conference ladder throughout her career at Rollins.

Jakubowski picks up her second career First Team selection after a stellar senior season with the Tars in 2009.  The Winter Park, Fla. native is second on the team in goals and overall points as her seven goals and three assists have combined for a total of 17 points this season.  The senior midfielder has three game-winning goals this season, helping the Tars to their second Sunshine State Conference regular season title in as many years.

Hirsch earns her second First Team honor after another season of unyielding action on the back line.  The Long wood, Fla. native adds her second first team nod to a Second Team All-Conference honor that she earned after her freshman season.  The junior defender is currently third on the team in scoring with six goals, one assist, and 13 overall points from the back line, picking up two game-winning goals, and going a perfect 3-for-3 in penalty kicks.

Murrell has been significant in helping Rollins to their recent successes on the field.  As a freshman on the forward line, she tallied six goals and four assists for 16 points overall in just one season.  On the back line as a defender in 2009, she has made just as much of an impact, notching three goals and an assist, while also playing  a vital role in helping the Tars earn 11 shutouts.  This marks Murrell's first All-Conference selection in her career.

Brady garners Second Team All-SSC honors as she leads the Tars in goals, assists, and overall points as her nine goals, seven assists and 25 points have helped Rollins to a successful conclusion of the 2009 regular season.  The Melbourne, Fla. native has contributed two game-winners and two final goals this season, and is currently 5th in program history in overall points, 6th in goals, and 7th in career assists.  As a consistent member of the Tars' forward line for three seasons straight, Brady picks up her first all-conference award for her hard work and leadership throughout her junior campaign.

Rounding out the long list of Tars, goalkeeper Michelle Dillingham picks up Second Team credit for her efforts in 2009.  With a new single season program record of 10 shutouts, the Debary, Fla. native has allowed only 11 goals out of 120 shots seen, and has played another stellar season for the Tars as she has racked up a stingy 0.68 goals against average.  With an overall save percentage of .817, the sophomore keeper is just three shutouts away from setting a new program career record for the Tars.

The Rollins women's soccer team kicks off their post-season play on Friday , November 6, when they host the semifinal round of the 2009 Sunshine State Conference Tournament.  Competition kicks off with the No. 2 seed Florida Tech taking on the No. 3 Florida Southern Moccasins with a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.  The No. 1 seeded Tars then match up with the No. 4 Saint Leo Lions in a 7:00 p.m. showdown.

Fans will be able to watch and listen live to the semifinals and finals on the Tars Sports Network at   Audio is free for all three matches throughout the tournament weekend, and a one-time fee of $5.95 will be charged for video access.