Junior defender Jordan Brewster of the No. 4-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The North Canton, Ohio, native becomes the fifth different Mountaineer and eighth overall to win the conference’s top defensive honor. Bry McCarthy won the first honor in 2012, before Kadeisha Buchanan became the first player to win four consecutive honors from 2013-16. Amandine Pierre-Louis was named the co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, while Bianca St. Georges took home the honor in 2018.
Brewster, a 2020 co-captain, started all nine games for the Mountaineers this fall, totaling four points (1G, 2A) in 830 minutes played. She also anchored a WVU back line which finished in the top-20 nationally in goals-against average (.868) and earned a pair of shutouts.
“Jordan earning this award speaks to all her hard work and focus she has put in this season,” WVU coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “She stepped in this year knowing that she had to be a huge presence and leader to such a young back line. I’m thrilled the Big 12 recognized her value and commitment to excellence. This is a huge honor, and I am so happy and proud for Jordan.”
Brewster’s two assists tied for a team high in 2020. Defensively, she led West Virginia’s defense in holding opponents to just 50 shots – 5.6 per match – this fall. Of those, only 26 attempts were shots on goal.
Additionally, Brewster, senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-vanGinkel and junior forward Alina Stahl were named to the All-Big 12 First Team on Wednesday. It marked the first time WVU had three representatives on the first team since placing four on the squad in 2018.
Brewster makes her first career appearance on the all-conference first team with the honor. Along with being included on the 2018 Big 12 All-Freshman Team, she has been placed on the All-Big 12 Second Team in 2018 and 2019.
Ferrer-vanGinkel led the Big 12 and tied for No. 8 nationally with six goals this fall. She was the nation’s leader in game-winning goals, with four, and finished No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 16 nationally in points (13). The Barcelona, Spain, native earned at least one point in six contests, scoring in five of them, including a two-goal effort on Oct. 30, against Kansas. Ferrer-vanGinkel paced the team in shots (21) and shots on goal (14), finishing No. 9 nationally in shot accuracy at .667.
The honor is the first of Ferrer-vanGinkel’s career. She was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week twice this fall (Oct. 13, Nov. 3), and appeared on the Women’s Team of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer.com on two occasions (Sept. 15, Oct. 13). Additionally, Ferrer-vanGinkel, who started all nine games for the Mountaineers, was named the College Soccer News National Player of the Week on Nov. 2.
After leading WVU in goals in 2019, Stahl tallied seven points (3G, 1A) for the Mountaineers this fall. She started in five of nine matches, recording 621 minutes played. Her three goals were good for No. 7 in the Big 12.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native placed 12 of her 21 shots on goal, ranking No. 5 in the Big 12 and No. 19 nationally in shot accuracy (.571). She also was credited with the game-winning goal in WVU’s win at Oklahoma on Nov. 23.
The all-conference accolade is the first of Stahl’s career.
Along with the three first-team selections, two Mountaineers – redshirt junior forward Lauren Segalla and sophomore defender Nicole Payne – were named to the All-Big 12 Second Team. Both players started all nine matches for West Virginia this fall. Payne, who tallied one goal on the year, was one of two Mountaineers to play all 830 minutes in 2020. Segalla, who has served as a co-captain this season, finished the fall with four points (1G, 2A) on 16 shots for WVU.
The honor is the first of both players’ careers. Payne was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2019, while Segalla collected the same accolade in 2017.
Freshman midfielder Lilly McCarthy was featured on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. The Baltimore, Maryland, native saw action in seven games, including one start, this fall. McCarthy posted five shots in 271 minutes played.
“We are excited to see these six players recognized by the conference,” Izzo-Brown said. “Each of them have worked extremely hard to get their job done. I’m so proud of how each one has impacted our success and strived to become the best versions of themselves.
“We not only look at these honors as recognizing success in individual play, but as a representative of our team as a whole. As we approach our NCAA Championship segment of the season, I’m excited to see how each player continues to develop.”
West Virginia concluded its fall, conference-only schedule with a 7-2 mark. The team will return to action next semester, following the NCAA’s approval to move fall championships to spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.