Henderson Named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year

Nov. 8, 2007

EDISON, N.J. - Loyola College sophomore goalkeeper Brittany Henderson became the fourth women's soccer player in school history to be named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the conference announced tonight at its awards banquet.

Henderson has led the Greyhounds defense to a stellar season, in which they have allowed an average of less than one goal per game. She directed Loyola (8-5-5 overall, 5-0-4 MAAC) to eight shutouts throughout the season, six of them solo efforts in goal by Henderson.

She also earned All-MAAC First Team honors, as did two of her teammates, senior midfielder Brynn McGrath and junior back Sarra Moller. Junior midfielder Lea Day and sophomore back Heather Cooke were named to the All-MAAC Second Team, while three Loyola freshmen -back Kelly Thomas, midfielder Lina Staropoli and forward Kelly Farrell - earned All-Rookie Team honors.

Henderson has played 1,582-minutes, 29-seconds in goal this season and allowed only 16 goals in 17 games for a 0.91 goals against average. She has made 99 saves, stopping 86.1-percent of shots on goal against her this season.

Entering this weekend's MAAC Championships, Henderson leads the conference in saves percentage and is second in the league in goals against average.

She is the fourth Loyola player to earn MAAC Defensive Player of the Year honors in the last five years. Lindsay Tracey, Lisa Jaffa and Moller earned the honors in consecutive years from 2003-2005.

McGrath and Moller, the team's co-captains, were key components of Loyola's defense throughout the season. McGrath, a center midfielder, and Moller, a center back, helped Loyola hold opponents to 18 goals in 18 games this season.

The duo are both three-time All-MAAC First Time honorees having earned the honors in 2005 and 2006, as well.

Cooke was Loyola's other center back this season, teaming with Moller to form an excellent middle of the back line. She also scored once off a corner kick this season.

Day is third on the team in scoring this season with five goals and 14 points. She also has four assists and scored the game-winning goal in the regular-season finale against Iona.

Staropoli leads the team in assists with seven and is fourth in scoring with 13 total points. She has three goals, two of which were game-winners. Thomas, like Staropoli, started all 18 games as a freshman. At left back, Thomas was also a big part of the Greyhounds' defense. She assisted on four goals, as well.

Farrell, who did not play as a true freshman last season due to injury, provided a major spark off the bench throughout the year, playing in 15 games and starting three. She scored three goals and had an assist for seven total points.

Ten Loyola players earned MAAC All-Academic Team honors at the banquet. Day, McGrath and Moller were joined on the team by Theresa Ferraina, Christina Gomez, Colleen Kinealy, Brittany Marano, Amanda Meehan, Rachel Shuck and Andrea Toro.

The Greyhounds play Fairfield on Friday at 4 p.m. in the MAAC Semifinals at Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The winner will advance to the MAAC Championship Game on Sunday.