Fall 2016 semester athletic awards

By on December 7, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

As the fall 2016 semester comes to a close, we look back at the semester that was. Here are your athletic award winners from the fall semester.

Best comeback- Women’s soccer versus Boston College

After two goals in five minutes during the first half, the Cardinals came storming back in the second half, forcing overtime. After a penalty kick in the 75th minute, the Cards tied the game just before time expired. A scoreless first overtime period led to a second overtime. Twenty seconds into double overtime, Keala Dickerman ripped a shot just outside the box to the left post for the winner. U of L scored three unanswered goals to seal the victory.

Honorable mentions:

Football versus Virginia (32-25), field hockey versus Kent State (3-2)

Best female freshman- Minout Mink, field hockey

Mink came to U of L from Haaksbergen, Netherlands and didn’t take long to adjust to the new level of competition. A member of the U18 Dutch team, Mink entered as a talented player. No one expected the freshman to have the season like she did, though. Mink ended the year leading the Cardinals in goals (15) and points (33). Mink’s 15 goals ranked her second in the nation for the most goals by a freshman.

Honorable mentions:

Melanie McHenry (volleyball) and Brooklynn Rivers (women’s soccer)

Best male freshman- Cherif Dieye, men’s soccer

Graduating from the prestigious IMG Academy, Dieye scored his first career goal in Louisville’s blowout of Virginia. Dieye ended the year with five goals, placing him second on the team. The freshman only played under 700 minutes this season, placing him in the bottom half of the team.

Honorable mentions:

Seth Dawkins and Mason King (football)

Breakout star- Mohamed Thiaw, men’s soccer

In his first season as a Cardinal, the junior exploded on the scene. Thiaw has accounted for a third of U of L’s goals this season. Scoring 12 goals, Thiaw ranks second in the ACC in goals and tied for 18th in the nation. Thiaw took 47 shots on the year, with 26 on goal. His shot percentage is 25 percent and shot on goal percentage is 55 percent.

Honorable mentions:

Minout Mink (field hockey) and James Hearns (football)

Best single game performance- Lamar Jackson’s 362 yards and five touchdowns versus Florida State, football

Jackson’s Heisman campaign kicked off after his outing against FSU. The most impressive aspect of Jackson’s game against FSU is he didn’t play the entire game. Jackson ended with four touchdowns on the ground as the Seminoles seemingly couldn’t bring him down. Finishing with 146 yards, Jackson averaged 8.6 yards per carry. Through the air, Jackson went 13-for-20 for 216 yards and a touchdown. The superb sophomore led the 63-20 blowout of then-second-ranked Florida State.

Honorable mentions:

Tim Kubel’s four assists versus Virgina (men’s soccer) and Ayeisha McFerran’s 12 saves versus Virginia (field hockey)

Best game- Men’s soccer versus UCLA

In the second round of the NCAA tournament, U of L and UCLA faced off in an instant classic. Starting with a goal in the third minute, Louisville held their lead into halftime. UCLA tied up the game in the 59th minute on a deflected goal. Heading into overtime, the Cardinals didn’t take long to take home the win. Danny Reynolds’ cross met Tate Schmitt and Schmitt’s header went to the right side of the post. The goal advanced U of L into the Sweet Sixteen of the tournament.

Honorable mentions:

Field hockey versus North Carolina and men’s soccer versus Notre Dame

Best senior- Erin McCrudden, field hockey

One of the most underrated athletes at U of L, McCrudden was the facilitator for the field hockey team. Dishing out 18 assists, McCrudden lead the Cardinals. Her 18 assists led the ACC in total assists and assists per game. She ranked second in the nation in assists per game. McCrudden had a huge jump in production from her junior to senior year, contributing 13 more points and 15 more assists.

Honorable mentions:

Tess Clark (volleyball) and Brandon Radcliff (football)

Best coach – Ken Lolla, men’s soccer

Men’s soccer entered the season picked fifth in the Atlantic division and eighth in the ACC. The men’s team finished second in the Atlantic division with a 5-2-1 conference record and third in the ACC. Goalkeeping and scoring were two areas that needed to be addressed after the 2015 season and Lolla did just that. Adding transfers Mohamed Thiaw and Stefan Cleveland, the Cardinals became a top 25 team.

Honorable mentions:

Karen Ferguson-Dayes (women’s soccer) and Justine Sowry (field hockey)

Best team- Men’s soccer

Starting outside the top 25, the Cardinals overachieved and knocked off five ranked teams this year. Among those five games were top-ranked Notre Dame and third-ranked Syracuse. The Cardinals became a regular top 25 team as they stayed in the polls for more than 11 weeks and finished atop the ACC standings. Men’s soccer advanced to the Elite 8, hosting three NCAA tournament games, before falling to defending champions Stanford.

Honorable mentions:

Field hockey and football

Best female athlete- Ayeisha McFerran, field hockey

An All-ACC first team selection, McFerran had another standout year as a sophomore. Totaling 77 saves and six shutouts, McFerran is one of the best goalies in the country. Ranking seventh in the nation in save percentage, McFerran only allowed 25 goals this season. McFerran’s all-conference year was a large reason behind field hockey’s success.

Honorable mentions:

Gabrielle Vincent (women’s soccer) and Molly Sauer (volleyball)

Best male athlete- Lamar Jackson, football

One of the few unanimous winners from the semester awards is Jackson. Totaling over 4,900 yards and 51 touchdowns, Jackson spent 2016 as the Heisman frontrunner. Jackson has taken the nation by storm and is the face of college football this year. One of the most explosive players in the country, Jackson totaled over at least 300 yards and four touchdowns in eight different games this year. The ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year is a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and Walter Camp Award.

Honorable mentions:

Mohamed Thiaw and Tim Kubel (men’s soccer)

Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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