Benyrova, Three Freshman Cardinals Honored by MAC
MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State women's soccer player Pavla Benyrova was named second-team All-Mid-American Conference and a trio of Cardinals was selected to the MAC All-Freshman Team, as announced Thursday night by the league office.
Benyrova earned postseason recognition for the second straight year after being named to the all-freshman team in 2011. This year's all-freshman selections for Ball State were Morgan Whitfield, Aubrey Hauenstein and Kalynn Flanagan.
The MAC postseason awards were selected by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.
Benyrova, a defender, started all 20 games and played all but 44 minutes in the field for Ball State. The Sept. 24 MAC Defensive Player of the Week, she tied for third on the team with five points (one goal, three assists) from her position on the back line.
The native of Prague, Czech Republic, scored the game-winner on a penalty kick Sept. 21 against Buffalo. She recorded two assists in Ball State's 2-1 overtime victory over Xavier on Aug. 26 and also had an assist Sept. 23 against Akron.
Benyrova helped form one of the most experienced defensive units in the league along with senior defenders Skylar Chew, Brigit Reder and Amanda Dreyfus, plus senior goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler. The Cardinals' back line limited opponents to just 4.8 shots on goal per game and played a major role in Ball State's five shutouts on the season.
The Cardinals' all-freshman team honorees each came on the offensive end of the field. The three all-freshman selections were the most in program history.
Whitfield scored the game-tying goal Oct. 25 against Miami University, helping the Cardinals become the only MAC team to tie a RedHawks squad that was otherwise perfect in conference play. Her attacking style also drew fouls to set up both Ball State goals in the Sept. 21 win over Buffalo (one on a free kick and one on a penalty kick). The Riverdale, Utah, product put nine of her 18 shots on goal for the season.
Hauenstein played in 18 games and provided Ball State with an offensive spark as a freshman, tallying three points (one goal, one assist) on the season. The Noblesville, Ind., product scored her first collegiate goal Aug. 26 against Xavier to force overtime in a game Ball State went on to win. She also assisted on Ball State's first goal of the season in the opener at Marshall.
Flanagan played in 18 games during her rookie campaign as significant contributor offensively, helping the Cardinals generate scoring chances. A product of Massillon, Ohio, she assisted on the first goal of Ball State's Sept. 23 win over Akron.
Ball State concluded its season last weekend with an overall record of 8-7-5, improving its winning percentage for the third straight year. The Cardinals finished 5-3-3 in conference play for their best league mark since the 2007 season.
All-MAC First Team
Bailey Brandon, Central Michigan, Sr., D
Autumn Hawkins, Central Michigan, Sr., MF
Katie, Slaughter, Central Michigan, Sr., D
Stefanie Turner, Central Michigan, Sr., GK
Laura Twidle, Central Michigan, Sr., F
Emily Dzik, Eastern Michigan, So., D
Bianca Rossi, Eastern Michigan, So., F
Kelsey Dinges, Miami, So., MF
Katy Dolesh, Miami, Jr., MF
Jess Kodiak, Miami, Sr., F
Kayla Zakrzewski, Miami, Jr., MF
All-MAC Second Team
Kelly DeNiro, Akron, Jr. MF
Ashley Hughes, Akron, Jr., F
Pavla Benyrova, Ball State, So., D
Cara Cutaia, Eastern Michigan, Jr., MF
Jaclyn Dutton, Kent State, Jr., F
Stephanie Haugh, Kent State, So., F
Hannah Newhouse, Kent State, Jr., D
Haley Walter, Miami, Fr., MF
Amy Carr, Northern Illinois, Jr., GK
Cat Rogers, Ohio, Sr., MF
Natalia Gaitan, Toledo, Sr., D
MAC All-Freshman Team
Megan Waskowski, F, Akron
Katie George, D, Akron
Klaire Adee, GK, Akro
Morgan Whitfield, F, Ball Stat
Aubrey Hauenstein, F, Ball Stat
Kalynn Flanagan, F, Ball State
Jenna Underwood, GK, Bowling Green
Kristin Markiewicz, D, Buffalo
Danielle Rotheram, F/MF, Central Michigan
Christen Chiesa, MF/D, Central Michigan
Josie Seebeck, MF, Central Michigan
Haley Walter, MF, Miami
Offensive Player of the Year
Jess Kodiak, Miami
Defensive Player of the Year
Bailey Brandon, Central Michigan
Freshman of the Year
Haley Walter, Miami
Coach of the Year
Bobby Kramig, Miami