Women's Soccer Hands Out 2008 Awards

FSU goalkeeper Becci Houdek
FSU goalkeeper Becci Houdek

Sophomore goalkeeper Becci Houdek (Canton) was selected as the Most Valuable Player on the 2008 Ferris State University women's soccer team Sunday (Dec. 7) at the Bulldogs' annual awards banquet held at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich.

Houdek, a first-year FSU women's soccer team member this fall, compiled a 9-8-1 record with a 1.61 goals-against average (29 goals allowed) and an .842 save percentage (155 saves) in 18 matches this season. The 2008 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Second-Team honoree posted five shutouts during the 2008 campaign and currently ranks 13th among the NCAA Division I national statistical leaders with an 8.61 saves per game average.

To date, Houdek presently ranks fourth among the program's all-time goalkeepers in goals-against average (1.61), victories (nine), and shutouts (four) while being listed seventh in save percentage (.842). The 5-9 goalkeeper also ranks high on Ferris State's all-time single-season leaders list as her nine victories tied a school record while her 155-saves total is the second highest season output in Bulldog annals. Houdek, who's also a member of the 2008-09 FSU women's basketball team, ranks second in saves per match among Ferris' season-best performers.

Senior forward Tammy Unsworth (White Lake/Walled Lake Northern) was presented with the Attacking Player of the Year Award after leading Ferris State in scoring with 18 points on seven goals and four assists in 16 matches. A starter in 14 contests, Unsworth registered at least a point seven outings this campaign. The 2008 FSU co-captain and two-time (2006 and 2007) second-team all-conference pick concluded her four-year (2005-08) career ranking second among the program's career leaders in assists (22) while being listed third in both points (90) and goals (34) in 71 career appearances. The 5-1 Unsworth also netted a school third-place tying seven game-winning goals in her career.

For the second straight season, senior Jackie Back (Ortonville/Ortonville-Brandon) was chosen as the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. A 2008 FSU co-captain, Back earned a starting assignment in all of the Bulldogs' 17 contests this season and placed fourth on the squad with 1,433 minutes played. The 5-2 defender earned second-team All-GLIAC plaudits two years (2007 and 2007) in a row. Back closed out her career (2005-08) with one goal and four assists for six points in 72 career matches. She holds the distinction of being Ferris State's all-time leader in minutes played with a 5,379 career total.

The Most Improved Player Award was awarded to freshman defender Mekyla Spraggins (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Central), who generated a squad fourth-place tying four points (all assists) as a starter in all 19 outings. The 5-2 Spraggins paced the Bulldogs in minutes played with a 1,577 season total.

Junior goalkeeper Kari Alsager (Mount Pleasant) received the Don Edwards Scholarship Award. Alsager claimed the team award, which is presented to the FSU women's soccer student-athlete who demonstrates the most dedication on and off the field while registering the team's highest grade point average. The 5-5 goalkeeper played in three matches this season while not recording a statistic in 21:42 minutes of action. Alsager has compiled a 6-12-1 career record with a 3.22 goals-against average (63 goals allowed) and a .627 save percentage (106 saves) in 26 encounters.

Ferris State, under third-year head coach Neathan Gibson, posted a 9-9-1 overall mark with a fourth-place tying 8-7-1 GLIAC record. The Bulldogs earned a berth in the GLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament for the second consecutive year this season and advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tourney.

2008 Ferris State Women's Soccer Team Award Winners:
Most Valuable Player - Becci Houdek
Attacking Player Award - Tammy Unsworth
Defensive Player Award - Jackie Back
Most Improved Player Award - Mekyla Spraggins
Don Edwards Academic Award - Kari Alsager