Mencacci Voted SCAC Women's Soccer Newcomer-of-the-Year; Headlines Conference Postseason Awards

Mencacci Voted SCAC Women's Soccer Newcomer-of-the-Year; Headlines Conference Postseason Awards

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) released the 2019 All-SCAC Women's Soccer Team on Thursday afternoon. Alyssa Mencacci (League City, Texas) was tabbed Newcomer-of-the-Year to highlight seven postseason awards for the University of Dallas women's soccer team.

May Lien Le (Katy, Texas) was voted on the All-SCAC First Team, while Mencacci and Monica O'Donnell (Lincoln, Neb.) claimed spots on All-SCAC Second Team. Elisa Duran (Pomona, Calif.), Olivia Severson (La Crosse, Wis.), and Gigi Garcia Orozco (San Antonio, Texas) rounded out the sextet with All-SCAC Honorable Mention.

Six players matches the most the UD women's soccer program has placed on SCAC All-Conference Teams since joining the league with the other years being 2012 and 2014. Those same campaigns, the Crusaders also had an SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year winner.

Among this group, four players received votes for all-conference teams a season ago and includes one that was an All-SCAC Selection all four years.

Alyssa Mencacci, a first-year midfielder from League City, Texas, has seven goals (eighth in the SCAC) and two assists for 16 points (ninth in the SCAC) thus far in her inaugural season at Dallas. She shares in the league lead with four game-winning goals, two of which came during a four-game stretch where she scored goals in every match and the team went 3-0-1 after starting the season 0-2. In the eight games she scored or assisted on a goal, the Crusaders went 7-0-1. Mencacci was a two-time SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week selection during the season (Week 4 and Week 6), the first time a Dallas women's soccer player has earned the award more than once in the same year.

Mencacci received five first-place votes in the Newcomer-of-the-Year selection process to become the third UD player to earn the honor and first since Elena Naccari in 2014. First-year defender Bailey Meyer of Trinity received two votes and first-year defender Kayta Arbuthnot of Johnson & Wales University picked up the remaining first-place vote.

Four different programs at Dallas have had someone win SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year since 2017 (Nat Kajiwara: men's soccer, Spencer Levi: men's basketball, Dayjah Whyte: volleyball, and Mencacci: women's soccer).

Lien Le earned All-SCAC Second Team in 2018, having posted three goals and two assists for eight points to finish second on the team in two of those categories. Lien Le did not show up on the stats sheet much this fall, but the defender was often praised for her work on the pitch by head coach Lexi Stinson. The sophomore was part of a defense that only allowed 20 goals (tied 2nd in SCAC with four teams). This included five shutouts that were part of a same-length winning streak in October that highlighted a 6-1 month. Overall, UD has amassed seven shutouts and held on for two ties after coming back in the second half. At one juncture, the Crusaders defense had not allowed a goal in 477:25 minutes. 

O'Donnell joined Mencacci on the Second Team All-SCAC for providing six points (T-2nd on UD) thanks to a pair of goals and assists, which are career improvements for the sophomore. O'Donnell was voted on the second team for consecutive years. Both goals were on the road including a 2-0 triumph at Texas Lutheran University. She assisted the game-deciding goal versus Austin College in a home conference win.

Duran notched her fourth All-SCAC honor in as many seasons, this time taking one-of-three Honorable Mentions for Dallas. Duran remains a top contributor to the offense each season, and is entering the conference postseason with 31 points all-time thanks to 11 goals and nine assists. Her six points from three goals (2nd on UD) match O'Donnell for total points. She netted the game-tying goal in a draw at Schreiner University last Sunday to finish the regular season.

Senior teammate Severson grabbed her second All-SCAC Honorable Mention in as many seasons. The goalkeeper stepped up once was left as the only player with collegiate experience at the position for the majority of the season. She ended up making 16 appearances and 14 starts that encompassed 1370:21 minutes. Severson allowed 17 goals and grabbed 57 saves. Her 1.12 goals-against average ranked third in the league this season and her .770 save percentage ranked fifth. Her numbers helped her receive SCAC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 8). Severson has anchored a back-line and accumulated seven clean sheets. Severson sits fifth all-time in saves with 256.

Orozco is the other freshmen to be named with a SCAC Postseason Award. The midfielder is tied with a team-high 41 shots. Despite not having a goal, Orozco has dished a team-leading four assists. She has played and started all 17 matches and been a fixture on the field. Orozco often has taken most of UD's 81 corner kicks. The Crusaders are 3-0-1 when the freshman has an assist. The last one for Orozco was at Seguin, Texas, versus TLU.

Dallas qualified for its second SCAC Tournament in a row, as third-year head coach Stinson saw her team make a six-win improvement from 2018 to reach 9-6-2 after starting 0-2. This included 5-2-1 in conference for the fourth seed. The squad is even in goals scored and allowed with 20 each and are facing the fifth seed Texas Lutheran University on Friday at 11 a.m. in the SCAC Quarterfinal.

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