Feb. 28, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - The annual Washington State University Women's Soccer Banquet kicked off in full swing Saturday, February 5. The Cougar Soccer family gathered at the Gladish Community Center to celebrate and reminisce about the events from the season. There were about 100 people in attendance ranging from athletic administration, support staff, parents, fiancées, coaches families and players.
The banquet opened with some great statements from our administration. We learned that our team was rewarded for its accomplishments in the classroom, including having the highest team GPA in the Pac-10, which also ranked the Cougars eighth in the nation among all Division I women's soccer teams. It was even more fun to see the reactions when we announced our two 4.0 students, Megan Cecchini and Alix Rustrum. They are respectively in pre-med and pharmacy courses, which traditionally aren't the easiest of classes, making the honor all the more spectacular. But, the thing that may have really pulled our team through is the focus of our freshmen, with the help of our team counselor, Cynthia Prieto. The rookie class earned a cumulative GPA of 3.53. Now the challenge is to keep our success going!
It wasn't all brains at the event. We did take a good amount of time to reflect on some of the fun we had this season, which served as the segue to our team awards. The 2004 season was special including some sweet victories and great challenges. The season began with a team building trip at Camp Shawshank that really pushed us all to a new level mentally. But some of the greatest memories were relived through the showing of a few highlight tapes, which by the way, are always a high class production and what, I think, bring everyone to the banquet. Check the video out online at the website, http://wsucougars.collegesports.com/sports/w-soccer/wast-w-soccer-body.html. You will see a few fantastic goals, cheesy grins, and funny falls.
As we got to the team awards, voted on by the girls, everyone became pretty excited. The first award was "Newcomer of the Year", which is simply what it sounds like, the most influential newcomer this season. This year the award went to the freshman center back, Allison Scurich, from Southern California. She stepped in this season and provided a calming presence, while working to earn a starting role in the middle of our back four. Then next award was "Most Inspirational", which went to one of our captains and all-time greatest leaders, red-shirt junior Katie Hultin. The team basically can't shut her up....she's always cheering, goofing around, and expecting the best of herself and others.
The third category was the "Defensive Player of the Year" award going to Megan Cecchini, which proves she's not all brains. She really made the most of her final season and stepped up as an upper-classman, earning time on the field and making a lasting impression with her natural left foot and talent. On the other side of the ball, Alix Rustrum earned "Offensive Player of the Year" accolades after having a great attacking season. She scored nine goals and brought more than just goal scoring to the team. She fought hard to make opportunities for herself and others, proving that hard work pays off.
The final team award for the evening was our team's MVP, which went to previous award winner, Hultin. As our starting goalkeeper this year she held down the fort in goal, which earned her two Pac-10 player of the week honors this season. Another impressive year in the net and she's still striving to be better.
Along with those honors we had two other significant awards, one which has been a tradition for years with our strength training staff honoring the most consistent and hard working of the girls. This season, the "Strength and Conditioning Award" went to Meghan Miller who stayed here during the summer to condition and lift on campus to maintain focus and grow as an athlete. She worked extremely hard and it paid off. The last award was a new one and we hope to make it annual as well. It was the Iron Girl Challenge, which consisted of the team competing for the best overall time in a versa-climber race, run, and rowing competition. The first winner of the "Iron Girl" was Anna Miller, a freshman who dominated the run. Overall there were so many girls deserving of awards, but these few surfaced and earned their awards through hard work and dedication.
As the evening and the season wrapped up, it was also a great chance to celebrate the beginning of a new stage of life for our six graduating seniors. After being showered with praise from teammates, their parents, and a great individualized "Dr. Seuss-like" poem from coach Potter, they each gave a tearful goodbye. Here's an excerpt from coach Potter's poem:
A class full of class.
A class and a half
A group not a troop
That can make you laugh
A hoot and a toot when the need be
The drive and the fight comes simple one, two three
I'm glad they were here we are blessed you can see
"We wish you the best," shout it out with glee!
She's part of a class that I wish I'd know longer
For they took us on journey's that have made us all stronger
Overall the evening was packed with emotion and was a great way to celebrate the season. Now we just keep striving for more from ourselves and our team! Thanks for a great season!!
A class full of class. A class and a half
A group not a troop That can make you laugh
A hoot and a toot when the need be The drive and the fight comes simple one, two three
I'm glad they were here we are blessed you can see "We wish you the best," shout it out with glee!
By: Lindsey Jorgensen, assistant coach