Seven players from the Long Beach State (LBSU) women’s soccer team were named to 2012 All-Big West Conference squads, including senior forward Nadia Link, who was (again) selected for the league’s Offensive Player of the Year Award. The Big West released its all-conference selections on Oct. 31.
This marks Link’s second consecutive Big West Offensive Player of the Year honor, and she and teammate Alex Balcer were also first-team All-Big West selections. Junior Eileen Maes and senior Kelsey Wilson both garnered second-team honors, and sophomore Taylor Nelson received honorable-mention recognition. Additionally, Elizabeth Lyons and Hannah Sanders both were named to the conference’s all-freshman team.
Link closed out the 2012 regular season leading the conference in shots (78), assists (9) and points (25). She also tied for third with eight goals. Link registered at least one point in eight games this year and had her first career hat trick in a 3-2 overtime win against North Texas.
During her four years as a 49er, Link has etched her name in the LBSU career record books. She ranks among the top-five in program history with 32 goals, 20 assists, 84 points and 208 shots attempts. Her 32 goals are just one shy of a 26-year-old school record held by Janet Fettig (33). Link is a three-time first-team All-Big West selection and also earned NSCAA All-America and All-West Region honors in 2011.
Balcer was named to the All-Big West first team for the second year in a row. In 2012, she started every game at center back, logging 1,755 minutes and anchoring a 49er defense that posted a 1.11 goals against average and six shutouts. In addition, the senior defender contributed on the offensive end with two goals this season. Balcer was also the Big West Tournament MVP and an NSCAA All-West Region pick in 2011.
Maes earned second-team all-conference honors in her first season at LBSU. The midfielder compiled a team-leading nine goals, which ranked second in the Big West, and she also totaled three assists and 21 points. She found the back of the net in eight games and had a streak of four straight contests with a goal.
Wilson, a defender/midfielder, helped LBSU post the Big West's second-best goals against average at 1.11. She also finished second on the team with a career-high six assists while adding the game-winning goal in a 2-1 comeback victory over Michigan.
With her honorable-mention recognition, Nelson is a first-time all-conference honoree. A midfielder, she finished with three assists and 28 shots, 10 of which were on frame. She set up the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute of a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 24 Baylor.
Lyons and Sanders rounded out the group of 49ers earning all-conference honors with their All-Freshman Team recognition. Lyons finished the regular season with two goals, three assists, seven points and 29 shot attempts while Sanders totaled one goal, one assist and nine shots.