Cromwell Named the 2009 C-USA Women's Soccer Coach of the Year

Nov. 3, 2009

By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Taking UCF to a top-10 ranking and the outright regular-season title, head coach Amanda Cromwell was voted the 2009 Conference USA Coach of the Year on Tuesday. The league's coaches also named senior Becca Thomas this season's C-USA Midfielder of the Year, and put four Knights on the All-C-USA First Team with Thomas, Courtney Whidden, Nikki Moore and Aline Reis all earning spots on the prestigious squad.

"We are very proud of our student-athletes who were honored on the C-USA all conference teams," said Cromwell. "It reflects the consistency they brought to the field all season long and it shows the mix of veteran leadership and young talent that has made this season so successful.

"Amazingly enough, this is Courtney Whidden's first time being picked for All-C-USA and it is very well deserved. She has scored some very important goals for us this season and throughout her career. And I can't say enough about Becca Thomas' domination in the midfield. She has carried us to some wins and I'm excited the coaches around the conference noticed her impact and voted her as the midfielder of the year.

"The coach of the year award is really about our whole staff and I'm honored that we were recognized. Donna Fishter and Colby Hale deserve so much recognition as their impact as coaches and leaders has been tremendous and they push me to be a better coach every day."

Although she has been one of the most successful coaches in any sport in school history, this was the first time Cromwell, who is in her 11th campaign with the Knights, earned a coach of the year accolade by either C-USA or the Atlantic Sun (the A-Sun typically voted for the coach who led the biggest turnaround). She was the SoccerBuzz.com Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2004.

Cromwell currently holds a 156-66-15 record while at UCF and has guided the program to seven NCAA Tournaments with hopes of an eighth trip to the dance in 2009. A player on the United States National Team from 1991-98, she has led the Knights to three C-USA regular-season crowns in five years in the conference.

This year the Knights, who played the second-toughest non-conference schedule in Division I, have won nine-straight games as they enter postseason play with a 15-3-1 overall record. They are ranked as high as No. 9 in the country with a NCAA RPI of No. 8 this week.

UCF placed a league-high four players on the All-C-USA First Team, the most on the main squad since becoming members of the league in 2005, and one shy of the school record when it placed five on the All-Atlantic Sun First Team.

Thomas joined fellow seniors Whidden and Thomas as well as sophomore keeper Reis on the first team. It was Moore's third appearance on the All-C-USA First Team, while it was the second for Thomas and first for both Whidden and Reis.

The Knights also put two players on the All-C-USA Third Team, as senior Yvonne George and freshman Bianca Joswiak earned spots. Joswiak, meanwhile, was tagged for the C-USA All-Freshman Team as was Nicolette Radovcic and Alex Brandt. It was the first time since 2003 in the A-Sun that three Knights were selected on the freshman squad.

UCF received a bye into the semifinals of the C-USA Championship and will face either UAB or UTEP Friday at 6 p.m. ET in Dallas. The finals is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and will air on CBS College Sports, which will be highlighted by a halftime feature on Reis.

UCF is in great position to at least get an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, and the field of 64 will be announced on ESPNews Monday at 8 p.m.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures, and become a follow of the Knights at Twitter.com.

2009 C-USA WOMEN'S SOCCER AWARDSOffensive Player of the YearAshley Berra, Memphis
Defensive Player of the YearKelsey Bakker, Memphis
Midfielder of the YearBecca Thomas, UCF
Freshman of the YearSkye Schultz, UTEP
Coach of the YearAmanda Cromwell, UCF
All-Conference First TeamF: Ashley Berra, MemphisF: Tiffany Brown, Colorado CollegeF: Tameka Sumter, UTEPF: Courtney Whidden, UCFMF: Vendula Strnadova, MemphisMF: Becca Thomas, UCFMF: Chelsea Winbush, UTEPD: Kelsey Bakker, MemphisD: Nikki Moore, UCFD: Lauren Talbot, Colorado CollegeGK: Aline Reis, UCF
All-Conference Second TeamF: Erika Duncan, MarshallF: Erin Scott, RiceF: Tiffini Turpin, UABMF: Ericka Bear, Colorado CollegeMF: Molly Snead, MarshallMF: Bailey Wilcox, East CarolinaD: Kayla Chambers, TulsaD: Kaitlyn Eidson, SMUD: Jessica Rathweg, HoustonD: Marie Yempuku, UABGK: Elise Kuhar-Pitters, Memphis
All-Conference Third TeamF: Emily Beans, Colorado CollegeF: Lauri Byrne, HoustonF: Yvonne George, UCFMF: Jennifer Kacergis, TulsaMF: Kristin Medeiros, SMUMF: Jo Radcliffe, UTEPMF: Shelley Wong, RiceD: Amanda Broz, East CarolinaD: Bianca Joswiak, UCFD: Katelyn Ostendorf, RiceGK: Caitlin Hulyo, Colorado College
All-Freshman TeamBrittney Lyman, F, Colorado CollegeRachel Wechsler, MF, East CarolinaSarah Vinson, MF, MarshallAvery Hallman, F, MemphisTaylor Isenhower, F, MemphisJulia Barrow, MF, RiceMallory Baum, MF, SMUKatie Bykowski, GK, TulsaRachel Garcia, D, TulsaBianca Joswiak, D, UCFNicolette Radovcic, F, UCFAlex Brandt, MF/F, UCFSkye Schultz, F, UTEP ="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="http:>