Nov. 3, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Southeastern Conference coaches recognized the work of four Auburn soccer players on Tuesday, voting Katy Frierson First Team All-SEC, Rebecca Howell and Sammy Towne Second Team All-SEC and Amy Howard Freshman All-SEC.
"We are very excited that four of our players have been recognized by the SEC. Katy, Becca, Sammy and Amy have all been an integral part of our success this year, and we are very proud of them," Auburn Head Coach Karen Hoppa said.
Frierson leads Auburn with 18 points, collecting five goals and eight assists, all of which rank in the top 10 among SEC players for all games. In SEC-only games, she has collected 11 points on three goals and five assists, with both her points and assists ranking in the top 10 in the conference. A midfielder, she has been a major force for Auburn all season long as the team has gone 5-0-0 in games in which she has scored and 4-1-1 in games in which she has had at least one assist.
"It is a big honor and all the credit goes to the forwards and rest of the team. We stepped it up the second half of the season, turned it around and got a lot better attacking mentality, which has allowed me to push forward," Frierson said. "J-Pro (Jenni Prescott) and Chelsea (Yauch) both have played really well too which has given me a lot of freedom."
A First Team All-SEC and the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2008, Frierson is the third Auburn player to be voted to the First Team in each of her first two years at Auburn, joining Maggie Cauley and Kristen Schier, who both did it in 1994 and 1995.
"We are thrilled that Katy got first team All-SEC for the second straight year. She is such a dynamic attacking player that she makes opponents change how they defend her," Hoppa said.
Howell is Auburn's top goal scorer with eight goals on the year, which is tied for eighth in the SEC. Of her eight tallies, six of them have come against SEC competition. A dynamic forward, her play down the home stretch has been a major contributing factor as to how Auburn captured a ninth consecutive berth to the conference tournament as she scored four goals in the final three matches, including the game-winner in all three.
"It is a big honor to be named Second Team for the first time," Howell said. "I couldn't have done this without my team. They are the reason why I have been able to be successful."
Howell, from Satellite Beach, Fla., has scored 22 career goals at Auburn, which is tied with Tiffany Smith (1993-96) and Chrissy Culver (2001-04) for fifth in school history. She is also just the seventh player in Auburn history to break the 60-point barrier (65 pts) for a career as her 21 assists are also fifth in school history.
"Becca is an integral part of our SEC season turning around down the home stretch," Hoppa said. "We are very pleased that she got her first All-SEC honor."
Towne has been a leader on Auburn's back line all season long. A center back, she has started 18 out of 19 matches this season, missing just the match at Mississippi State after breaking her arm in a 0-0 tie with then-No. 1 North Carolina while blocking a shot. A team captain, she has helped Auburn close the season on a 259-minute shutout streak to win the final three regular-season matches and clinch the No. 6 seed in this week's conference tournament.
"It is a huge honor to be recognized," Towne said. "I really need to thank my teammates though because we lost Lizzie Hamersly and that really forced me to step up as a player. With the help of my three other backs, and we were a significantly young back line, that forced me to be a leader."
"When we lost Lizzie Hamersly (to injury), Sammy really stepped up. She is playing with three broken bones and yet she has still been our confident leader on the back line," Hoppa said.
A big question mark coming into the season with no returning goalkeeper on the roster, Howard put those fears to rest with her play between the posts. A three-time SEC Freshman of the Week, she is second in the SEC with 106 saves, which is second in Auburn history for a single-season and already sixth for an Auburn career. She is also second in the SEC with 5.58 saves per game, is sixth with a .822 save percentage and 10th with a 1.18 goals against average. Her five shutouts are also tied for 10th in the league.
"Our whole team has gotten better as the year has gone on and the defense has made me look good in the back," Howard said.
"Starting at this level as a freshman in goal is in and by itself a significant achievement," Hoppa said. "Amy has not played like a freshman and she has made big saves in all of our SEC wins."
The selection of Frierson to the first team gives Auburn 18 all-time First Team selections. Auburn has now had either a First- of Second-Team selection in 10 straight seasons.
Auburn has now had at least one player voted to the All-Freshman Team in six of the last seven seasons.
Auburn opens the SEC Tournament at 2:30pm CT on Wednesday against No. 3 seed Ole Miss.