By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Emmy Manset (Jr., F, Ventura, CA/Foothill Technology HS), who led Willamette University in scoring this season, has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference as determined by the NWC head coaches. Emma Sanders (Sr., M, Kennewick, WA/Southridge HS) of Willamette was chosen Second Team All-NWC, and Liz Stewart (So., D/F, Sisters, OR/Sisters HS/Texas Christian University) was named Honorable Mention All-NWC for the Bearcats.
The 2016 All-Northwest Conference Women's Soccer Team featured 12 players on the First Team and 12 players on the Second Team. The Honorable Mention list included eight athletes.
Michaela Graddy, a forward from Pacific Lutheran University, was selected NWC Offensive Player of the Year. Goalkeeper Takara Mitsui of PLU was named NWC Defensive Player of the Year, and midfielder Taylor Cole from Linfield College was chosen NWC Freshman of he Year. Head Coach Seth Spidahl from Pacific Lutheran was voted NWC Coach of the Year.
The Bearcats completed the season with a 9-8-3 overall record, including 6-7-3 (5th place) in the NWC. Willamette shut out eight opponents during the season, as the Bearcats earned a 0.80 team goals against average. The Bearcats played eight games that went into overtime. WU was 4-1-3 in overtime games.
A key win for the Bearcats was a 2-1 victory over Whitwortth University in overtime on Oct. 23. Willamette earned quality ties against University of Puget Sound (0-0) on Oct. 1 and against Linfield (0-0) on Oct. 15. Puget Sound finished second in the NWC with a 10-3-3 record.
First Team All-Northwest Conference
Emmy Manset (Jr., F) earned All-NWC recognition for the first time. She scored seven goals to lead the Bearcats with 14 total points. She was second on the team with 39 total shots and 18 shots on goal.
Manset was one of the NWC's most successful attacking players late in the season, as she scored in five of Willamette's final seven games. She earned two goals in the season finale to lead the Bearcats to a 3-0 win over George Fox University on Nov. 6. She also scored game-winning goals in consecutive wins over Pacific University (1-0), Whitman College, (2-1) and Whitworth University (2-1) between Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.
In three seasons at Willamette, Manset has played in 59 of 60 games, including 44 starts. She has scored 10 goals for 20 total points in her career. She has taken 100 shots with 49 shots on goal. She has provided the Bearcats with five game winning goals.
Second Team All-Northwest Conference
Emma Sanders (Sr., M) played mostly as a connecting and defensive midfielder. She played in 19 games with 18 starts, and was a key midfielder who helped the Bearcats keep possession of the ball. In addition, she scored one goal. Sanders received All-NWC honors for the first time.
The overall impact of Sanders in each game was a combination of her ability to maintain the ball and also her ability to take the ball away from opposing players. She was difficult for opponents to deal with at both ends of the field. She often won 50-50 battles.
Sanders saw action in 79 of 80 games during her four-year career with the Bearcats, including 73 starts. She played 6,973 minutes, an average of 88.3 minutes played per game. She scored three goals and took 92 total shots with 34 shots on goal.
Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference
Liz Stewart (So., D/F) joined the Bearcats this season after transferring from Texas Christian University. She earned Honorable Mention All-NWC status on defense, but also contributed to Willamette's offense as a forward.
She played in all 20 games and had 19 starts. She played much of her time as a defender, but still scored two goals and three assists to tie two other players for second on the team with seven total points. She provided the game-winning goal with 2:55 left in regulation in a 2-1 victory over Northwest Christian University in the season opener.
Stewart also excelled on defense and was an important player as the Bearcats registered eight shutouts. She helped Willamette limit 15 of 20 opponents to one goal or less.