Nov. 5, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s soccer team claimed multiple All-ACC honors the league announced on Thursday (Nov. 5).
Head coach Steve Swanson was named Coach of the Year, while senior forward Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.) was named Offensive Player of the Year and senior defender Emily Sonnett (Marietta, Ga.) was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Six players were honored with selection to an All-ACC team with Doniak and Sonnett leading the way as All-ACC first-team selections. Junior midfielder Alexis Shaffer (Cary, N.C.) earned second-team selection, while senior midfielder Brittany Ratclifffe (Williamstown, N.J.) earned third-team honors. Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.) and Courtney Petersen (Canton, Mich.) earned selection to the ACC All-Freshman team.
Currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, Virginia posted a 15-1-1 mark in the regular season and claimed the ACC regular-season title for the second time in three years with a 9-1-0 mark in conference play. The Cavaliers are the top seed in the ACC Championship which begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C. Virginia will face fourth-seed Clemson in the semifinal match.
Doniak earned Offensive Player of the Year honors and selection to the All-ACC first team after tallying eight goals on the season and a team-leading nine assists. She set the UVA career record for points with 150 and is one goal shy of the UVA record for career goals with 58. Doniak set the single-game record with four goals in a win at NC State last week as Virginia locked up the regular-season title. It is her third time earning All-ACC first team honors.
Sonnett earned selection as Defensive Player of the Year and All-ACC first-team honors after helping anchor a back line that has allowed only nine goals through 17 matches this season. She helped the Cavaliers post 11 shutout victories, including seven in ACC play and three against nationally-ranked opponents. It his her second time earning All-ACC first team honors.
Both Doniak and Sonnett were named to the MAC Hermann Trophy preseason watch list.
Shaffer earned selection to the second team after leading the Cavaliers in goals (10) and points (27), and is second on the team with seven assists. Shaffer has tallied four game-winning goals this season, including the game-winners in 1-0 victories over No. 1 Florida State, No. 19 Duke and Wake Forest.
Ratcliffe earned selection to the third team after providing four goals and five assists on the season for a total of 13 points. She hit the game-winner at No. 5 Clemson and at Boston College to help the Cavaliers to the ACC regular-season title.
All-Freshman team selections Brandon and Petersen both came up big for the Cavaliers in their first season. Brandon started 16-of-17 matches at midfield and scored three goals with two assists on the season. She hit the game-winner at Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale and recorded her first multiple-goal game. Petersen scored three goals and added three assists, hitting the game-winner against Delaware and hitting the game-tying goal on a free kick at No. 19 Pepperdine.