The Murray State Racers raided the Ohio Valley Conference trophy room, with six players and a coach earning honors when the OVC held its women’s soccer award banquet on Thursday, Nov 2 in Murray, Ky.
Harriet Withers was named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year along with being named to the All-OVC First Team. Joining Withers on the All-OVC First Team are teammates Nyomi Devine and Karsyn Hasch. Withers along with Kari Naerdemann of Tennessee Tech, who won Defensive Player of the Year, are the only two players in OVC Soccer history to win their respective award three times in a row.
Alex Steigerwald and Rebecca Kubin were both named to the All-OVC Second Team, with Kubin being named to the All-OVC Newcomer Team and named the OVC Freshman of the year as well. Joining Kubin on the All-OVC Newcomer Team this year is Miyah Watford.
Head coach Jeremy Groves was named the 2017 OVC coach of the year, as the Racers currently stand at 13-1-2 overall and 8-0-2 in the OVC. Along with that, Murray State has seen its RPI has high as 26 this season and for the first time in program history, received votes in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.
The six Racers named to All-OVC teams bests the five named last year. Withers, Hasch and Devine mark the 24th, 25th and 26th First Team selections in the 18 seasons of Murray State soccer. Groves is the first Murray State coach to be named Coach of the Year multiple times and just the third time a Racer coach has earned the award.
Harriet Withers – Sr., F, Murwillumbah, Australia
(OVC Offensive Player of the Year & All-OVC First Team)
Withers was named the top offensive player in 2017, an honor she’s received for three straight years. She is the only Racer to win the award in the 18 years the program has existed. Scoring 12 goals this season, Withers leads the OVC in goals (12), points (26) and game winning goals (6). She has also broken numerous Racer records this year, as she is now the active leader in career goals scored (37), career points (89) and career game winning goals (13).
“She is a great young woman who works hard day in and day out. To win offensive player of the year three times in a row is special,” said head coach Jeremy Groves.
Nyomi Devine – Sr., D, Beaudesert, Australia (All-OVC First Team) + Karsyn Hasch – So., D, Temecula, Calif. (All-OVC First Team)
Combining for 32 games started this year, Devine and Hasch have been giving opposing offensives nightmares this season, with a program low 11 goals allowed to show for it. Although neither has scored this year, it’s not uncommon to see them playing higher up to assist the offensive or track down a short through ball and hit a moving teammate up field. This is the second All-OVC award for both defenders, with Hasch being named to the All-OVC Newcomers team last season and Devine named to the All-OVC Second team last season as well.
“Im really happy for Nyomi. She is a good player and even better person and leader,” said Groves. “I’m pleased that other coaches have seen what we have. Karsyn is a very good defender and has grown this season when she was able to play in the position we recruited her for.”
Alex Steigerwald – Jr., GK. West Chester, Ohio
(All-OVC Second Team)
Posting a program low 11 goals allowed in the regular season, Alex Steigerwald has been a force in net this year. Steigerwald ranks second in the OVC in save percentage (.847), GAA (.67) and Shutouts (8). Being names to the All-Newcomers and OVC Second Team in 2015, Steigerwald looks to lead the Racers to Third OVC title in program history.
“Alex really has had a great year for us. Her level of consistency has been great. She has trained hard and played very well in games for us.”
Rebecca Kubin – Fr., F, Lake Zurich, Ill
(All-OVC Second Team + All OVC-Newcomers + OVC Freshman of the Year)
The first Racers in women’s soccer history to earn OVC Freshman of the Year, All-OVC Newcomer and be named to either the All-OVC First or Second team, Rebecca Kubin has been a spark plug for the offense in her first year at Murray State. Scoring seven goals and getting three assists, Kubin led OVC freshman in scoring and points. Her seven goals ranks third in program history for freshman goal scorers.
“Rebecca has been great for us since day one in pre-season. She has scored some big goals for us, and her awards are thoroughly deserved.”
Miyah Watford – So., M/F, Indianapolis, Ind.
Transferring to Murray State from Samford, Watford saw success with the Racers in her first year. Scoring four goals and four assists, Watford was third on the team in scoring and points. Against Little Rock earlier this year, she was responsible for three assists, which tied the most by a Racer in a single game.
“Miyah is our spark,she works so hard for us in games. She has sacrificed her goals/stats for the good of the team and im happy that she has gotten recognition this season.”
Jeremy Groves – Head Coach
(OVC Coach of the Year)
In just his fourth year as the head coach of Murray State, the Racers have had a winning record in all four seasons. Along with that, they’ve made the OVC tournament four times, hosted the tournament three straight and made the NCAA tournament once. Groves sees his Racers with a program best 13-1-2 overall record, losing to the then no. 24 Saint Louis. This marks the second time he’s been named OVC Coach of the Year, with his first coming in 2015 where the Racers went 10-0-0 in OVC .
“It’s a very nice honor from my peers in the league. I wouldn’t be in this position without the hard work from the players and staff.This is a team effort and im proud of everyone in our program that have elevated us to this national level.”
Murray State Media Relations Intern
(W SOC, M/W Cross Country, W Track and Field, W Tennis)