Michelle Pao Earns NSCAA All-America Honors; Four Other Waves Named All-West Region Selection
Dec. 9, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - Sophomore defender Michelle Pao headlined a group of five Waves that earned NSCAA honors for their standout play on the pitch. Pao was named a NSCAA Division I All-America second team selection, becoming the second all-time and the highest any Wave has been selected as an NSCAA All-American. Previously Megan Woods earned third team honors in 2005. Pao also was named an All-West Region first teamer.
Joining Pao (Cupertino, Calif./Monta Vista HS) in her national recognition are freshman forward Lynn Williams (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS), the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, who is a second team All-West Region pick and senior forward Laura Cole (Whittier, Calif./La Habra HS), redshirt junior defender Kelsea Smith (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS)and junior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS), who are third team All-West Region selections. The five all-region selections are the most the Waves have ever had in one season. Previously three earned honors in 2009 and 2002.
Pao, an All-WCC first teamer, had an excellent season for the Waves, starting all 21 games at the outside right back position. She scored her first two career goals this season and had five assists. She, along with fellow honorees Smith and Barker, was part of a record-setting defensive unit that held opponents to .57 goals per game.
Williams, the WCC Freshman of the Year and All-WCC selection, made a definite impact in her freshman season, starting 19 of 20 games played and scoring six goals while adding 11 assists.
Senior leader Cole was a first team All-WCC selection in 2011 and a two-time conference player of the week. She led the team with four goals in conference play, good for second-most in the WCC. Her three game winners tie for the most in the conference. Overall, she was second on the team with seven goals scored.
Smith, the anchor of the defensive unit for the Waves as a central defender, started all 21 games this season. She earned second team All-WCC honors for her play.
Barker was a stalwart in goal for the Waves in 2011, allowing only 12 goals and leading the team to 10 shutouts. She finished with a single-season school record 0.55 goals against average, making 78 saves along the way. The junior earned second team All-WCC honors.
Overall the Waves had a stellar season, boasting a 15-2-4 record overall and taking a share of the WCC title for the first time since 2002 with a 7-1 record in conference play. The team also made an NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time since 2005, earning a No. 3 seed. Head coach Tim Ward was named the NSCAA All-West Region Coach of the Year in 2011.