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Petersen named PSAC West Coach of the Year, five players earn All-PSAC honors

Published: 11/16/2021

Women's soccer coach Colin Peterson named PSAC "Coach of the Year."

Women's soccer coach Colin Peterson named PSAC "Coach of the Year."

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced today the 2021 PSAC Women's Soccer All-Conference Teams and Major Award winners. The Gannon women's soccer team was well represented, with two players earning first team All-PSAC West recognition and three more landing a spot on the second team.

In addition, Colin Petersen was selected the Western Division Coach of the Year by his peers. Mercyhurst swept the other three major awards, with Emily Mijares selected the Athlete of the Year and Rookie of the Year and Maddie Elbro named the Defensive Athlete of the Year.

Long-time head coach Petersen, wrapping up his 20th season, is now a three-time PSAC West Coach of the Year, previously earning the honor in 2008 and 2015. Gannon advanced to the PSAC Final Four for the fifth time on Tuesday, outscoring Slippery Rock 5-3. The Lady Knights, the second seed in the Western Division, will face Millersville, the fourth seed in the East, on Friday in the semifinals. They are fifth in the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings with the NCAA Division II Tournament field announced on Monday, November 15. Gannon is in search of its fifth NCAA Tournament berth under Petersen.

Petersen has led Gannon to a 12-2-3 record this year, the eighth season with 10-or-more wins during his tenure and the 11th straight non-losing season. The Lady Knights are undefeated over their last nine contests with eight wins and a tie. A former standout for the Gannon men's soccer team, the native of South Africa is the winningest and longest-tenured coach in the history of Gannon women's soccer. He now has a 173-151-32 record.

Taylor Lewis (Erie, Pa./Harbor Creek) and Laurel Prokopchak (Erie, Pa./Harbor Creek) were accorded first team All-PSAC West honors. Leah Bermudez (Milton, Ontario/Jean Vanier Catholic)Kayla Bevacqua (Welland, Ontario/Notre Dame) and Kennedy Solymosi (Eastlake, Ohio/Lake Catholic) were named to the second team. Lewis becomes a rare four-time All-PSAC honoree, earning first team recognition in 2016 and 2017 and second team honors in 2018. She was also named the Freshman of the Year in 2016. This marks the first time earning PSAC postseason honors for the other four players.

A redshirt senior forward, Lewis leads Gannon in points (27), goals (11) and assists (5). She ranks second in the PSAC in points per match and third in goals per game.  The 27 points are tied for ninth in a season, while the 11 goals are tied for eighth. Lewis has moved up to third in career points with 116, is second in goals with 47, and tied for third in assist with 22. She has also broken the Gannon career record with 17 game-winning goals.

Prokopchak is a senior who has controlled play in the midfield. She has three goals and two assists for eight points while also contributing to a defensive effort that has held opponents to 14 goals.

Bermudez and Bevacqua have also played key roles in Gannon's strong defensive effort. Bermudez is a junior defender who has been limited to nine matches due to injury. She contributed one goal on offense. Like Lewis and Prokopchak, Bevacqua has played in all 17 matches. The redshirt senior ranks third on the team in scoring with five goals and four assists for 14 points. She now has 15 career goals and 12 career assists.       

Solymosi has enjoyed an outstanding season in goal. The senior owns an 11-1-3 record in 15 matches, with a 0.85 GAA and .797 save percentage. She has recorded six shutouts along with taking part in two others. Solymosi ranks fifth in the PSAC in GAA and eighth in save percentage, along with sixth in shutouts. She is tied for fifth in a season in shutouts, and has moved into a tie for fourth place in career shutouts with 11. Her 23 career wins in goal are fourth in the career records.