SWAC Soccer Championship underway, All-Conference honors announced

Nation’s top scorer wins player of the year.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference revealed its 2018 postseason soccer honors, with Mississippi Valley State’s Laadi Issaka, Grambling State’s Haileigh Adams and Justin Wagar, Howard’s Jordan Taylor and Southern’s Chioma Eriken taking home individual accolades. The teams and award winners were determined in a vote among the league’s coaches and sports information directors.

Issaka collected Offensive Player of the Year accolades for the second time in her decorated career after an exceptional season where she scored 20 goals, dished out seven assists and accounted for a nation-leading 47 total points. The senior striker, who shared the honors in 2016, is the nation’s active leader in career total points.
Adams picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors after helping to anchor a Lady Tigers’ defense that has not conceded a goal in seven straight matches. A one-time defensive player of the week honoree, Adams aided the Lady Tigers in allowed just 1.11 goals per game and limiting opponents to a combined 78 shots on goal.
Taylor, the 2018 SWAC Freshman of the Year led the Bison in scoring with 14 points, finding the twine six times during the season and adding a pair of assists. The Wadsworth, Ohio native earned offensive player of the week honors twice this year, scoring the game-winner on three separate occasions this season.

Eriken earned the 2018 SWAC Goalkeeper of the Year award. She leads the SWAC as well as the nation in saves (150) and saves per game (10.00). Ranking second in the league with a .847 save percentage, the Mesquite, Texas native put up five matches with 10 or more saves and is responsible for the most saves in a single match by any player in the
country thanks to a 22-stop effort versus Grambling on Oct. 5 Wagar earned his second SWAC Coach of the Year award in as many seasons after he guided the Lady Tigers to a 12-7 record (9-1 SWAC) and the conference regular season title. Under Wagar’s direction, Grambling allowed 1.11 goals per game and boasted the second-best scoring margin among all teams. Thanks to ferocious defense, Grambling outscored SWAC opponents 20-1 during play and has not allowed a goal in seven straight matches entering tournament play.

First-Team All-SWAC Soccer

Forward: Laadi Issaka, Mississippi Valley State
Forward: Kaylee Holt, Grambling State
Forward: Birgit Rijnders, Alabama State
Midfielder: Jordan Taylor, Howard
Midfielder: Kailey Pena, Grambling State
Midfielder: Blair Lane, Prairie View A&M
Midfielder: Karenth Zabala-Terrazas, Mississippi Valley State
Defender: Haileigh Adams, Grambling State
Defender: Brittany Terry, Grambling State
Defender: Briana Norwood, Texas Southern
Goalkeeper: Chimoa Eriken, Southern

Second-Team All-SWAC Soccer

Forward: Makela Davidson, Howard
Forward: Rebecca Holmes, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Forward: Jojo Bernal, Prairie View A&M
Midfielder: Begona Rodriguez-Bravo, Texas Southern
Midfielder: Jasmine Smith, Grambling State
Midfielder: Karissa Fenwick, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Midfielder: Jalah Carter, Jackson State
Defender: Florence David, Grambling State
Defender: Kendall Macauly, Howard
Defender: Kendall Hamilton, Howard
Goalkeeper: Alayah Hightower, Howard
Offensive Player of the Year: Laadi Issaka, Mississippi Valley State
Defensive Player of the Year: Haileigh Adams, Grambling State
Goalkeeper of the Year: Chioma Eriken, Southern
Freshman of the Year: Jordan Taylor, Howard
Coach of the Year: Justin Wagar, Grambling State

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