GNAC honors: SPU’s Isabel Farrell is Player, Newcomer of Year
PORTLAND, Ore. – (SPU release) Isabel Farrell, who is Seattle Pacific’s top playmaker and second-leading scorer, received both the Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards and was one of the Falcons’ three first-team selections on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer squad that was announced Tuesday.
The junior midfielder played a part in six game-winning goals, netting three decisive scores while setting up teammates for three others. Despite frequently drawing a dedicated defender, Farrell compiled seven goals to rank third in the league in that category. Her seven assists were the GNAC’s second-highest total.
“It’s well deserved, she’s a very dominating player,” SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said of Farrell’s conference awards. “Off the dribble, her ability to pass, her engine, she’s just been a difference-maker in every single game she played this year.
“Isabel has been a marked woman. A lot of teams have followed her around the field and she’s dealt with it well. The respect has been there and people have been aware of her ability.”
She is SPU’s first GNAC women’s soccer player of the year since Kelsey Jenkins received that award in 2011.
Farrell made an immediate impact after transferring from the University of Washington, scoring a goal 1-minute, 58-seconds in the 2014 season-opening game on Sept. 4. She is a product of Interlake High School in Bellevue, Wash.
Joining Farrell among the 12 first-team all-stars were SPU teammates Hannah Huesers and Laura Moore.
Huesers (Lake Stevens, Wash./Lake Stevens HS) tops the GNAC with 14 goals and also leads the league with 29 points and five game-winning goals. The sophomore forward compiled eight goals during the last seven games.
Moore (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS) distributed seven assists to tie for team-high honors and rank No. 2 in the GNAC. She also contributed four goals. The junior midfielder recorded a hat trick on Oct. 11, netting three goals in the opening 25 minutes against Northwest Nazarene.
Those three offensive players helped the Falcons amass 35 goals as the only team in the GNAC to average more than two goals per game.
“It’s a potent group and they are hard to handle,” Sekyra said of his trio of first-team honorees. “It’s exciting to see what they’re going to do the rest of this year and next year.”
Junior defender Shayla Page (Redmond, Wash./Eastlake HS), who anchors a back line that limited opponents to 0.75 goals per game, made her third consecutive appearance on the GNAC All-Star squad. She was a second-team selection.
The list of honorable mention recipients features two Falcons, senior midfielder Alexa Diaz (Burien, Wash./Kennedy HS) and junior defender Ashley Shaw (Seattle Lutheran HS).
All six Falcons recognized by the GNAC hail from the state of Washington.
Western Washington’s Travis Connell, a four-year SPU men’s soccer letterman from 1991-95, shared the Coach of the Year award with Wojtek Krakowiak of Montana State Billings.
Western’s Kim Cooper was voted the Defensive Player of the Year and Mackenzie Nolte of Central Washington was the Freshman of the Year.
The Falcons finished the regular season with an 11-4-2 record and tied for second in the league standings with a 9-3-2 mark. They participate as the third seed in this week’s GNAC Tournament.
Defending champion SPU clashes with No. 2 seed Montana State Billings (11-3-2) on Thursday. Kick-off is 4 p.m. at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. where top-seeded Western Washington (13-0-3) meets No. 4 Central Washington (7-6-3) at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s semifinal winners square off in the GNAC championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The winner receives the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament that begins Nov. 13.
Advanced tickets to the GNAC Tournament are available for purchase online at: