Senior defender Emily Zurrer earned first-team All-Big Ten honor for the third straight year.
Nov. 5, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois soccer team had three members earn All-Big Ten honors, as announced Wednesday by the conference office. Senior defender Emily Zurrer collected first-team honors for the third year in a row, while junior midfielder Jackie Santacaterina and sophomore defender Danielle Kot were each named to the second team.
Not only has Zurrer delivered for the Illini on the defensive side of the ball, but the Vancouver, B.C., native has been a force on offense as well. She tied her career high with four goals this season, including three game-winners, which are the most in her career. Additionally, Zurrer's stifling defense helped the Illini produce seven shutouts this season.
Santacaterina earned second-team honors for the second year in a row. The Geneva, Ill., native has dominated the midfield throughout the season, starting all 19 games and constantly winning balls in the air for the Orange and Blue. Santacaterina contributed two assists this season, including one on the game-winning goal at Wisconsin in Illinois' conference-opener.
Kot received the second conference honor of her career, having earned Big Ten All-Freshman accolades last year. The Brookfield, Wis., native controlled action from the back line, acting as a vocal leader at center back in guiding the Illini to seven shutouts. Kot assisted on three goals this season, delivering two in Illinois' 3-0 shutout of Michigan State.
The Illini's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award went to sophomore midfielder Krystin Miller. Not only has Miller been an encouragement to her teammates, but she has excelled in the classroom as a molecular and cellular biology major. The student-athletes chosen from each school are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. They must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The eleven student-athletes selected are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.
Illinois returns to action on Thursday, taking on Michigan State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa. Kickoff between the fifth-seeded Illini and No. 4 seed Spartans is slated for 7 p.m. (CT). The winner of the match will then take on the winner of the Penn State-Iowa game at 3:30 p.m. (CT) on Friday.