Tar Heels Clean Up Regional Awards From Soccer Buzz

Dec. 12, 2006

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The top regional performers for 2006 women's college soccer were announced by Soccer Buzz on Tuesday, as the online magazine presented annual postseason honors for the 11th time. Fifty-two schools comprising the Southeast Region were eligible. Buzz awards were based on a nomination process open to all Division I coaches and balloting results of a voting panel of selected DI Head coaches and Soccer Buzz staff.

Yael Averbuch of North Carolina led the UNC sweep by collecting the Regional Player of the Year award. The sophomore midfielder outpolled teammate Heather O'Reilly who finished second in balloting for the second year running. Averbuch's selection marks the sixth consecutive year a Tar Heel has been named the region's top player. She joins UNC's Lindsay Tarpley as the only sophomores to be voted tops in the region. Averbuch was last year's Regional Freshman of the Year.

North Carolina's Tobin Heath was named Regional Freshman of the Year after leading a crop of freshmen that delivered early and often for UNC's rebuilt lineup in 2006. The top rookie award went to a Tar Heel for the fifth consecutive year and seventh overall. The Basking Ridge, N.J. midfielder was named second team All-ACC and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors.

Anson Dorrance added to his growing collection of coaching honors with his fourth selection as Regional Coach of the Year from Soccer Buzz. Earning his 800th win as a head coach (men and women) during the NCAA Tournament, Dorrance skippered one of his all-time greatest challenges with as many as seven freshmen starting at some point in 2006 and nine in a rotation dominated by underclassmen. His 27-1 finish tied a school mark for wins as well as consecutive wins in a season on his way to an 18th NCAA Championship. The runner-up for Coach of Year was Paul Cairney of UNC Wilmington. Cairney led his Seahawks to a CAA second place finish and a mark of 13-6. The conference finish and win total were both school records.


UNC and the ACC dominated the All-Regional teams as the Heels had seven players honored and the ACC scored twenty-three total selections. UNC had five players make the first team while Florida and Florida State had three players each top the list. Eighteen schools had at least one player named to one of three all-regional teams. O'Reilly of UNC made the first team for the fourth time in her career.

The first team honorees are:

Stacy Bishop Florida Forward Junior
Heather O'Reilly North Carolina Forward Senior
Elizabeth Remy Wake Forest Forward Senior
India Trotter Florida State Forward Senior
Ameera Abdullah Florida Midfielder Sophomore
Yael Averbuch North Carolina Midfielder Sophomore
Tobin Heath North Carolina Midfielder Freshman
Selin Kuralay Florida State Midfielder Junior
Ronda Brooks Auburn Defender Senior
Robyn Gayle North Carolina Defender Junior
Lauren Hyde Florida Defender Freshman
Jessica Maxwell North Carolina Defender Junior
Katrin Schmidt Florida State Defender Sophomor
Ashley Phillips Clemson Goalkeeper Junior

Both freshman forward Whitney Engen and freshman midfielder were named Soccer Buzz second-team All-Southeast Region.

The top rookies also were recognized and named to the Southeast Region All-Freshman team. North Carolina had a record six freshman make the squad. Clemson, Duke and Wake Forest had two selections each as a total of 13 schools were represented on the rookie team.

Soccer Buzz Southeast Region All-Freshman Team included the following Tar Heels:

Kristi Eveland, Defender

Whitney Engen, Forward

Nikki Washington, Midfielder

Tobin Heath, Midfielder

Casey Nogueira, Forward

Ali Hawkins, Midfielder

Soccer Buzz national awards will be announced Wednesday, December 13.

For 2006 awards, as well as all honors presented since 1996, visit the Buzz Honors section at Soccer Buzz, www.soccerbuzz.com.

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