Sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo also took home to NSCAA Second Team All-America, Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, First Team All-Big Ten and First Team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region honors following a stellar second season at Illinois.
Jan. 4, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois soccer sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo earned Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Year honors, the first Illini to receive the laurel in the award's five-year history. DiBernardo was named Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week twice during the regular season and led the region during the fan-voting portion of the player of the year award process.
During the 2011 season, the sophomore midfielder paced the Orange and Blue with 39 points and 17 goals - the second-most ever accumulated in program history for a single-season in both categories - while finishing in the top-25 nationally for points per game, goals per game, points and goals. DiBernardo also earned third nationally in game-winning goals, tallying eight on the year to bump the Naperville, Ill., native's two-year total for game-winners to 12.
By earning this Chicagoland Soccer News accolade DiBernardo joins the running for national player of the year, which currently features Penn State's Maya Hayes (Philadelphia region) and Boston University's Jessica Luscinski (New England region) with the Dallas, New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles recipients to be announced.
On Tuesday DiBernardo was called upon by the U.S. U-20 National Team to join a two-week training camp in Chula Vista, Calif., in preparation for the U-20 World Cup, including the upcoming CONCACAF qualification tournament - one of only 30 student-athletes from across the nation asked to participate.