WALLA WALLA - Whitman College sophomores Erin Flannery, Julianne Masser and Marisa Poorboy have earned All-Northwest Conference soccer honors.
Flannery, a defender, was named to the All-NWC Second Team, while Masser and Poorboy received Honorable Mention recognition on the offensive side of the field.
The Missionaries finished the fall season with a 6-11-2 record.
"The fact that our three sophomores received all-conference honors is a reflection of how our team continued to play together throughout the season," first-year Whitman coach Heather Cato said.
"They would not have made the all-conference team without the combined efforts
of everyone on the team."
Flannery anchored the Whitman defense as a sophomore, starting all 19 games and seldom leaving the field. She was the only player on the team to spend more than 1,700 minutes on the pitch.
"One of the points I made in nominating Erin is that it was her tenacity on defense that kept us in a lot of games," Cato said. "She also plays the game with a certain flair. She's aggressive, moves very well on the field and is very intelligent. She knows when it's time to go in for a tackle and when it's time to stay back.
Flannery's poised play on the field was all the more remarkable in that injury and illness limited her to just 25 minutes in two games in her first season at Whitman last fall.
"It says a lot about Erin as a person and as a player that she bounced back to play so well this year after having gone through such a rough season a year ago," Cato said.
As Whitman's two leading scorers, Poorboy (five goals, three assists) and Masser (five goals, one assist) accounted for one-third of Whitman's offensive production."She's also very adaptable and versatile. She moved at times from center-mid to forward, and no matter where she was asked to play, she played well."
Poorboy, who was playing her first season of college soccer as a sophomore, had two game-winning goals during the season. She booted a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 3-2 victory over Pacific Lutheran, and she had the lone score in a 1-0 win over George Fox.
Masser, who had two goals last year in her first season at Whitman, added two more goals this fall in a season-opening 5-1 non-conference victory over Eastern Oregon.
"... Speed is something that other coaches noticed and other defenses had to focus on," Cato said of Masser.
Cato was disappointed that Kate Potter, a junior defender, was left off the all-conference lists.
Potter started all 19 games and was second only to Flannery in total minutes played. It was her second season as a starter on the defensive backline.
"Kate was extremely important to our defense," Cato said. "She's not quite as flashy as Erin Flannery, but Kate gets the job done, and I don't think Erin would have been as effective if Kate and our other defenders had not been back there."