Women’s Soccer Collects Regional Honors
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy women’s soccer team collected eight combined playing awards on Wednesday from the United Soccer Coaches organization and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Meghan Hegarty led a quartet of players on the United Soccer Coaches All-East Region team with a nod on the first team, while Ash Fairow took home the honor of ECAC Offensive Player of the Year to highlight the Mids’ collection of regional awards.
Matched up against players from the ACC, Atlantic 10, CAA, Ivy League, America East, MAAC, NEC and Patriot League conferences, Hegarty (Sr., Richmond, Va.) was selected as one of the eight best midfielders in the East Region. The Mids’ holding defensive midfielder finished her senior campaign with two goals and four assists over 1,686 minutes of action in 21 games. A key cog in Navy’s staunch defense, Hegarty and the Mids posted 13 shutouts and held their opponents to just 18 goals against, with just three coming during regular season conference play. Fellow midfield honorees on the 2017 All-East team, include players from Duke, Notre Dame, Princeton, Louisville, North Carolina State, Northeastern and Saint Louis.
As a first team honoree, Hegarty will now be a part of the nationwide vote for the United Soccer Coaches All-America team. Candidates will come from five regions: East, Midwest, South, Southeast and West.
In addition to Hegarty, Navy had three more players garner the United Soccer Coaches accolades, as Sydney Fortson (So., Claremont, Calif.), Liza Harris (Sr., Baltimore, Md.) and Ash Fairow (Jr., Jacksonville, N.C.) were named to the All-East Second Team. Fortson shared second-team goalkeeper honors with Monmouth’s Amanda Knaub, while Harris was one of seven defenders noted by the organization. Fairow, the Patriot League’s leading goal scorer, earned one of six spots dedicated to forwards on the second team.
Four all-region honors tie the Mids’ single-season program record. In the United Soccer Coaches’ previous form, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Navy had four honorees in 2006 and 2013. Hegarty’s first team nod is the 11th all-region first team honor in program history (USC: All-East and NSCAA: All-Mid-Atlantic).
Navy finished the regular season ranked 13th in the United Soccer Coaches East Regional poll on Oct. 31. The Mids were amongst the region’s 15 best teams in every edition of the poll beginning with week five (Sept. 19).
Wednesday also brought about the announcement of All-ECAC awards. Slightly more regionally-based than the United Soccer Coaches East Regional, which is constructed around conference association, the ECAC’s award announcement honored the best players from a geographic footprint of Maine down to Washington, D.C. Fairow found herself amongst the best of the best as the ECAC’s Offensive Player of the Year. Finishing the year with 13 goals and one assist over 20 games, Fairow was known nationally this fall for her penchant for clutch performances. Connecting for goals in 11 different games in 2017, Fairow tallied the game-winning goal in eight contests for the second-best total in the entire NCAA Division I. She finished just one game-winning goal shy of Raimee Sherle of Boise State, who notched nine such markers. Fairow was also named to the ECAC All-Star First Team.
Harris and Hegarty just missed earning a spot on the 11-player first team and were noted by the organization as members of the ECAC All-Star Second Team.
These three Midshipmen are the first ECAC All-Star honorees since 2013 when Morgan Dankanich and Elizabeth Hoerner were named to the second team.
Navy finished the 2017 season with a record of 16-4-1 and the top mark in the Patriot League with an 8-0-1 record in conference play.
United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women’s All-East Region Team
Mid – Meghan Hegarty
Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I All-Star Team
Offensive Player of the Year
Fwd – Ash Fairow