2007
Six women's soccer players earn NAC honors

Six women's soccer players earn NAC honors
November 15, 2007

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

Benedictine University's women's soccer team had six of its players recognized with Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) post-season honors. The Eagles finished the year 10-5-1 overall and were fourth in the NAC standings. Three players - sophomore Lauren Omsberg (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East H.S.), senior Kimyenna Abron (Chicago, Ill./Hyde Park H.S.) and senior Julie Harshbarger (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah H.S.) - were named Second Team All-NAC. Three others - sophomore Ashley Nielsen (Green Bay, Wis./Notre Dame Academy), senior Kiera Vizza (Evergreen Park, Ill./Queen of Peace H.S.) and freshman Dani O'Toole (St. Louis, Mo./Hazelwood H.S.) - were NAC honorable mention honorees. Additionally, O'Toole was named to the NAC's All-Rookie Team, which honors the best true freshman in the circuit. Omsberg, a forward, was Benedictine's leading scorer with 13 goals and two assists, good for 28 points. She had three match-winning goals, all of which came during the Eagles' 10-match unbeaten streak. In the fional NAC statistics, Omsberg ranked second in shots, fifth in points, fourth in goals scored and fourth in match-winning goals. Abron, also a forward, was argueably the fastest player in the NAC and gave the opposition fits in defensive coverage. She had three match-winning goals in the NAC and five overall. She booked 12 goals and two assists (26 points). In the NAC stats, Abron was fourth in shots and fourth in match-winning goals. Harshbarger started the year as a defender, but then playing both forward and midfield to help jumpstart the Benedictine offense. The ploy worked as Harshbarger helped the team embark on the win skein, while she ended up in the team lead for assists with seven. Harshbarger was tied for eighth in assists for NAC matches. Nielsen, a goalkeeper, played every minute in the nets for BU. She had three shutouts in NAC matches and helped the Eagles' team lower its goals against average by more than 0.75 per match from 2006 (2.18 to 1.42 overall). Vizza, a midfielder who was the team's only real offensive "weapon" in 2006, was able to rely on several other scoring threats among her teammates to help out in 2007. Vizza had five goals and two assists, while serving as a team captain as a senior. Vizza is also the squad's best in the classroom, earning First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District accolades for the second-consecutive season. O'Toole, another midfielder, scored five goals in the NAC matches and six overall as a frosh. As a first-year collegiate player, she started 11 of 12 matches and also earned a reputation as a tough defensive player.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.