After a most unusual women’s college season, last week saw the 2020-21 season come to a close with Santa Clara emerging as champions.
The WCC side dominate this year’s TopDrawerSoccer.com awards, released this week hailing the top achievers in the 2020-21 campaign.
Santa Clara forward Kelsey Turnbow nabbed the Player of the Year award, leading the Broncos to the national championship. The senior star, who is returning to play one more season in the fall, was part of her side’s electric attacking front line that fired their way to the national championship. She scored 10 goals in 12 games, including huge tallies in the College Cup against North Carolina and Florida State. The Arizona native chipped in four assists as well. Turnbow edged a talented field that included Brianna Pinto (North Carolina), Mikayla Colohan (BYU), Jaelin Howell (Florida State, to name just a few final contenders.
Turnbow’s head coach Jerry Smith earned the Coach of the Year nod, guiding his side to a 10-1-1 record. Like most teams, the Broncos dealt with COVID-19 issues in the spring season, with a handful of games cancelled on the way to winning the WCC title. Smith and his staff had the Broncos playing enterprising, attacking soccer with Turnbow, Izzy D’Aquila and Julie Doyle providing dynamism and entertainment in the spring campaign. Perhaps most impressively, Santa Clara saw off three straight ACC opponents to earn a first championship since 2001, beating Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State in the final three games of the tournament.
Rounding out the individual awards is Virginia midfielder Lia Godfrey, who earns Freshman of the Year. The ACC Freshman of the Year, Godfrey scored four goals and added nine assists, handling set piece duties for the Cavaliers.
In order to be eligible for the awards, players had to be rostered at the end of the season, leaving out several impressive performers from the fall that had elected to turn pro between the fall and spring campaigns.
Postseason performances were also considered for these awards and the Top 100 list, which will come out later this week. Check out the individual awards and Best XI teams.
2020-2021 Women’s DI Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Kelsey Turnbow, Santa Clara
Freshman of the Year: Lia Godfrey, Virginia
Coach of the Year: Jerry Smith, Santa Clara
2020-21 TopDrawerSoccer Best XI Teams
F: Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara), Anna Podojil (Arkansas), Penelope Hocking (USC)
M: Mikayla Colohan (BYU), Jaelin Howell (Florida State), Yazmeen Ryan (TCU), Brianna Pinto (North Carolina)
D: Emily Madril (Florida State), Alexis Loera (Santa Clara), Kim Rodriguez (Oklahoma State)
GK: Ashley Orkus (Mississippi)
F: Tara McKeown (USC), Izzy D'Aquila (Santa Clara), Grace Collins (TCU)
M: Lucy Porter (Hofstra), Sam Coffey (Penn State), Sophie Jones (Duke), Delanie Sheehan (UCLA)
D: Jordan Brewster (West Virginia), Karlina Sample (Texas A&M), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA)
GK: Claudia Dickey (North Carolina)
F: Ally Schlegel (Penn State), Sydny Nasello (South Florida), Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia)
M: Olyvia Dowell (Oklahoma State), Clara Robbins (Florida State), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia), Hannah Friedrich (Saint Louis)
D: Kiki Pickett (Stanford), Mijke Roelfsema (Rice), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State)
GK: Emily Alvarado (TCU)
Freshman Best XI Teams
F: Reilyn Turner (UCLA), Barbara Olivieri (Texas A&M), Meike Ingles (Iowa)
M: Sally Menti (Santa Clara), Lia Godfrey (Virginia), Croix Bethune (USC), Samantha Meza (North Carolina)
D: Megan Bornkamp (Clemson), Marz Akins (TCU), Eva Alonso (Penn State)
GK: Cristina Roque (Florida State)
F: Jaida Thomas (Tennessee), Catherine Barry (South Carolina), Meg Hughes (Providence)
M: Abi Brighton (Vanderbilt), Peyton McNamara (Ohio State), Hannah Larson (Saint Louis), Anna Haddock (Auburn)
D: Vivianne Bessette (South Florida), Talia DellaPeruta (North Carolina), Grace Stordy (Memphis)
GK: Marlee Nicolos (Santa Clara)