Junior Vanessa DiBernardo was named a Soccer America Second Team MVP for the second year in a row.
Jan. 15, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior Vanessa DiBernardo earned recognition as one of Soccer America's 22 Most Valuable Players across Division-I women's college soccer nationally, securing a spot as a Second Team MVP for the second year in a row. DiBernardo, who picked up the same honor following the 2011 season, again led the Illinois offense by totaling 21 points in 16 games. The Naperville, Ill., native increased her career point total to 87, which ranks third in Illinois history.
DiBernardo started the season Sept. 16 when the Orange and Blue began Big Ten play. In her first shot of the game, she scored to lead Illinois to a 2-1 win over Iowa. On Oct. 4, the junior netted her second career hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Michigan State. DiBernardo concluded conference play by scoring at least one goal in the final three games, which included the program's first victory in Ann Arbor.
After picking up a couple of assists in the Big Ten Tournament and helping the Orange and Blue secure dramatic wins over Minnesota and No. 3 Penn State, DiBernardo and the Illini advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they bowed out against North Carolina.
DiBernardo adds this accolade to a growing list of awards from the 2012 campaign, which include a NSCAA Third-Team All-America selection, the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, two Big Ten offensive player of the weeks, All-Big Ten Tournament, First-Team All-Big Ten, Top Drawer Soccer Second-Team All-Upperclassmen, Soccer News Net College Boot Award Nominee and U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Finalist.
DiBernardo is one of four Big Ten student-athletes recognized by Soccer America along with Michigan's Haley Kopmeyer (First Team) and Penn State's Christine Nairn (First Team) and Maya Hayes (Second Team).