Vienna, W.Va.—Prior to the 2017 Great Midwest Women's Soccer Championships resuming play this afternoon, the conference held a banquet this evening to honor the individual award winners and All-Conference selections.
Ohio Valley University Head Women's Soccer Coach Luis Rincon was named the Great Midwest Coach of the Year. Additionally, four Fighting Scots were awarded individual awards and All-Conference Honors.
This was Coach Rincon's first year as the head coach of the women's soccer program at OVU. He led the program to its first winning season, and capped it off with a regular season championship. He already holds the all-time wins record as a head coach for a career with 15 wins and counting. Under Coach Rincon the program saw their first regional and national rankings, three conference player of the week awards, and now four players selected to All-Conference honors.
"I am extremely humbled and honored," said Coach Rincon. "The credit goes to my players and my staff. It took a lot of heart and determination for our players to commit to this program because of the type of seasons we have had in the past. The trusted in my vision for the program, and made a commitment to changing the women's soccer program," he continued. "My staff has done an outstanding job of keeping the girls focused all season long, and instilling a winning mentality into our roster. We are proud of the regular season we put together, but we know the journey is not over yet," Rincon finished.
Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to freshman forward Konstantina Giannou (Riza, Greece) who was also selected to Great Midwest All-Conference First Team. Giannou led the conference in goals with 17 and ranks seventh in the nation as well. She also is second in the conference in total points with 38. In just her first year on campus, Giannou has already broken program records in goals scored in a single season and total points in a career at OVU.
Sophomore defender Ana Da Costa (San Jose, Costa Rica) was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. Da Costa has played a key role in securing the 10 shut outs that the Fighting Scots have put together this season. Not only is Da Costa a defensive player but she has also been able to find the back of the net three times for the Scots. Much like her teammate, not only did Da Cost bring home Defensive Player of the Year, but she was also selected to the Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team.
Freshman midfielder Paula Valbuena (Bogota, Colombia) was selected to the Great Midwest All-Conference First Team as well. Valbuena is tied for second on the team with 8 goals and leads the Fighting Scots with 7 assists which breaks the record for assist in both a single season and career at OVU.
Freshman midfielder Montserratt Grau (Santiago, Chile) was selected to Great Midwest All-Conference Second Team. Grau who serves at one of the two team captains, is a staple in the middle of the pitch for the Fighting Scots. Grau has recorded 1 goal and has assisted on 5 others this season.
"I am extremely proud of these girls, and the things they have been able to accomplish on the pitch this season," said Rincon. "They have played a huge role in the success are team has had this year. It has been a total team effort for us each game, every member of this team is vital to our success. Tomorrow our journey continues. These awards are great, but we need to finish the season strong in order to accomplish all of the goals that we set at the beginning of the year," Rincon finished.
OVU will look to continue their run at a 2017 G-MAC Championship Thursday November 2nd as a the #1 seed and they will face off against the #5 seed Ursuline College Arrows with kickoff at 2:30 at the Don Drumm Stadium at Marietta College.
The match will be available for live stream via the Great Midwest Digital Network.
To keep up to date with everything surrounding the women's soccer program this year follow @ovu_athletics on Twitter and Instagram, like Ohio Valley University Athletics on Facebook or visit fightingscots.ovu.edu
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Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.