(MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Three of the most consistent players on the Montana State University Billings women’s soccer team were recognized by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches on Tuesday, when the conference office announced the 2018 all-league selections.
Juniors Amanda Hemmen, Kalin Sandow, and Claire Tevaseu each received honorable mention all-GNAC, after all three started all 17 matches for the Yellowjackets this fall. “We are all extremely happy for our three student-athletes who have made the all-conference team,” said MSUB head coach Stephen Cavallo. “Despite the tough season we had, these three battled through all adversity. It is great to see that the other GNAC coaches recognize the talents Amanda, Claire, and Kalin bring on the field.”
Starting every game as the two center backs for the ‘Jackets, Sandow and Hemmen ranked first and second on the team with 1,482 and 1,453 minutes played, respectively. Only four players in the GNAC played more total minutes than the Yellowjackets’ defensive tandem, who each averaged upwards of 85 minutes per game. “Amanda and Kalin were two rocks in the back for us,” Cavallo said. “Kalin has made leaps and bounds since her freshman year. She is one of the most focused and determined individuals in our group, and it’s a good moment for her to be recognized as one of the top defenders in the conference.”
Hemmen, a native of Renton, Washington, scored one goal and added an assist in addition to her defensive duties with the Yellowjackets. In total she played the full time in seven matches on the year, and matched her career high with 110 minutes in MSUB’s 1-1 double-overtime draw against Colorado Christian. This is Hemmen’s second-career GNAC honor, as she was also an honorable mention selection as a freshman in 2016. “It was great to see Amanda respond the way she did this year,” Cavallo commented after injuries hampered Hemmen during the 2017 campaign. “She really played her best soccer that we have seen from her so far in her career.”
Posting a breakout season offensively, Tevaseu was MSUB’s top player on the attack with eight points on the season. She scored a pair of goals and tied for the team lead with four assists, and became the Yellowjackets’ primary set piece taker late in the season. Tevaseu played 1,265 total minutes in her 17 starts, and had one game-winning goal for MSUB. “Claire came into preseason with a completely different mindset this year,” Cavallo said. “It was evident that she had pushed herself a lot during the offseason, and I know she will feel satisfied to see that hard work get rewarded with this all-conference selection. She has always been one of the most technical players in the GNAC, and it was awesome to see her add goals and assists to her repertoire this year.”
Jenna-lee Baxter of Simon Fraser University was named the GNAC Player of the Year, after leading the conference with 32 points on 11 goals and 10 assists. Clan head coach Annie Hamel was voted as her peers as the GNAC Coach of the Year, after piloting SFU into this week’s conference tournament at 10-5-1 overall and 8-3-1 in league play. Julia DeVere of Seattle Pacific University was voted as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year. Conference regular-season champion Western Washington University was awarded the GNAC Freshman of the Year in forward Dayana Diaz, and the GNAC Newcomer of the Year in goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx.
MSUB went 4-12-1 in 2018 and finished in ninth place in the GNAC with a league record of 1-11.