Soccer Distributes Post-Season Honors
Senior Joyce Kleinheinz was the recipient of the Cheryl Sarnwick Award
Senior Joyce Kleinheinz was the recipient of the Cheryl Sarnwick Award

Dec. 10, 2005

NORMAL, Ill. - Several members of the Illinois State soccer team received early Christmas presents, as the squad celebrated their season of success at their team banquet Saturday afternoon at the Radisson Hotel.

Illinois State head coach Pete Kowall addressed the players, parents and friends of the program to open the event, commenting on his team's overall success.

"This year was a lot of fun," said Kowall. "I was impressed throughout the year with the fight of this group. We accomplished a lot and have a lot to be proud of."

The awards were abundant for senior co-captain Heather Forsyth, on Saturday and throughout the season. Forsyth was honored at the 2005 Redbirds Most Valuable Player, as well as the Offensive Player of the Year. The MVP award was the second of the season for Forsyth, who also netted the Valley's coveted MVP honor for her outstanding play during the season. These team awards added to her 2005 arsenal, as the Burlington, Ontario native also was recognized throughout the year as a member of the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Second Team, a first-team selection of the MVC All-Conference team. She was also named to the State Farm MVC All-Tournament Team and the Valley Scholar-Athlete Team.

Sophomore Amanda Lauber was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year. Lauber returned to the Redbird lineup after taking a medical redshirt last season, recovering from a knee injury. She led an Illinois State defense that allowed just 12.2 shots per game and 24 goals over the team's 19 games. Lauber, a Wildwood, Mo., native was also named to the MVC All-Conference second team earlier in the year.

Rachel Lee was honored by her team as this year's Most Improved Player. Lee, a freshman, saw action in all 19 games this season and tallied two goals and one assist in 2005 for five total points on the year.

Joyce Kleinheinz, also a senior co-captain, was the 2005 recipient the Cheryl Sarnwick Award. The honor, named for a former Redbird soccer player, is given to a soccer team member who is constantly working hard while helping to improve her teammates. Additionally, the recipient is a leader both on and off the field. Kleinheinz had a successful senior campaign, netting three goals and notching four assists for 10 points. The senior from Libertyville, Ill., was also named to the MVC All-Conference First Team.

Kowall felt that each award winner contributed something special to this year's team and was especially touched by the work and dedication of the three seniors.

"No one will be able to replace these girls," said Kowall. "Heather (Forsyth), Joyce (Kleinheinz) and Taylor (Casement) have made so many positive contributions to this program in their four years, making sacrifices for the improvement of this program. The three of them will surely be missed."

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