MILWAUKEE – Freshman Brooke Zidek was named NACC Freshman of the Year and head coach Rolf Zersen repeated as Coach of the Year as the MSOE women's soccer team collected nine awards when the league office announced its post-season awards Thursday.
Zidek headlined seven All-NACC honorees on the first team, joined by seniors Missy Schultz, Aly Loepfe, and Kelsey Hailey, and junior Shelby Namen. Freshmen Gracie Horton and Nora Adkins were named to the All-NACC Second Team.
Zidek is the Raiders' first Freshman of the Year since Sara Travia in 2013. She has played in all 20 games with 18 starts and leads the team with 12 goals, seven assists, and 31 points this season. She's also notched a pair of game-winners on the campaign. After a tough non-league slate, she thrived in conference play with 10 goals and four assists in 10 games.
Schultz is a repeat first-team selection and has now earned league honors in each of her four seasons. In 19 starts, she has netted five goals with a pair of assists for 12 points. Three of her scores have been game-winners, including in back-to-back road matches at Concordia Wisconsin and Aurora. She has played a deep defensive midfield role, aiding in a defense that has posted seven shutouts on the year. In addition to her first-team awards, Schultz was also named to the All-NACC Second Team in 2015 and the All-Freshman Team in 2014.
Loepfe garnered the second All-NACC First-Team award of her career (2015) despite being limited to the first 16 games of the season before suffering an injury. In the games she played, she dominated the midfield as a ball-winner and catalyst to the offense for the Raiders. She is among the team's leaders with 15 points on five goals and five assists, often seeing her contributions not show up on the stat sheet.
Hailey and Namen make up MSOE's center back pairing. Their play has led directly to the team's defensive success, which included a 0.90 GAA in league games and five conference shutouts. Namen was the NACC Defensive Player of the Year last season and earned her second-straight first-team honor to go with an All-Freshman Team selection in 2015. Hailey, meanwhile, was chosen to the All-Freshman Team in 2014.
Offensively, Namen has picked up three assists and Hailey one.
Horton and Adkins have been fixtures in the Red & White lineup since day one. Horton has started all 20 games and has notched six goals and four assists for 16 points this season. She's twice scored the game-winner, while taking on an all-over role within the lineup. Adkins has started 18 games and is tied for second on the team with seven goals. She's used her speed and technical skills to wreak havoc on opposing defenses from the wing.
Zersen's coaching honor is his third in the NACC. He had been named the league's co-coach of the year in 2007 and then was the outright coach of the year last season when he led the squad to a perfect 10-0 league record. This season, the Raiders shook off a league-opening loss to score nine-straight wins and claim their second-straight NACC regular season championship. The Red & White led the league with 38 goals in league play.
MSOE is playing in its third-straight NACC Championship game Saturday, hosting the title match each time. The top-seeded Raiders take on No. 2 Dominican at 4 p.m. at Viets Field in a rematch of the 2016 championship match, a 1-0 Red & White victory.