Helfrich Named SCIAC Newcomer of the Year; Buenconsejo, Schmitt Earn All-SCIAC Honors
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Kaitlyn Helfrich was named the SCIAC Women's Soccer Newcomer of the Year and was joined on the All-SCIAC first team by Gracyn Buenconsejo, while Ava Schmitt earned a spot on the All-SCIAC second team, the league announced today.
Helfrich earned the Newcomer of the Year honor after an impressive rookie season which saw her score seven goals and add two assists. She had three game-winners in league games this year, including an overtime golden goal against La Verne, a second half tiebreaking goal in a 2-1 win over Caltech, and the winner in a 4-3 road victory at Redlands. She also assisted on the game-tying goal in the closing minutes of a 2-1 win over Redlands in the rematch and had the only goal in a 1-0 road win over UC Santa Cruz.
Buenconsejo was chosen to the All-SCIAC first team for the second straight season. In 2019, she won All-SCIAC distinction, as well as United Soccer Coaches All-Region honors, while playing center back, while this year she played more of a defensive midfield role and helped lead a young CMS defense, which allowed only 18 goals on its way to a 9-4-3 record.
Schmitt also had a big rookie season with five goals and one assist, as well as showing a penchant for timely goals to earn second team all-league honors. Three times she scored a tying goal in the second half of a SCIAC game with the Athenas trailing 1-0, resulting in a 1-1 tie with Chapman, a 1-1 tie with Cal Lutheran, and a comeback 2-1 win over Redlands in the final five minutes. She also assisted on the Helfrich overtime golden goal in the win over La Verne.
CMS finished the year with a 9-4-3 record but just missed out on a SCIAC Tournament bid after a late comeback from Chapman in the season finale on Saturday. A Chapman penalty kick in the 81st minute resulted in the game going to overtime, and CMS (which needed to win to qualify) fell in extra time on a counter when it pushed numbers forward.
The Athenas will be in great shape to build off of this season in 2022, with Buenconsejo and Ava Sherry (four goals) the only two graduating seniors from this year's squad.