SSC honors Kabangu, Jaimes, Gignac, Waddell and O’Connor

SSC honors Kabangu, Jaimes, Gignac, Waddell and O’Connor

SSC Release

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Nationally-ranked No. 10 Saint Leo women's soccer saw four athletes earn All-Sunshine State Conference postseason awards as well as Head Coach Ged O'Connor named the SSC Coach of the Year following a 7-1-1 record in the conference. Arielle Kabangu swept the Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards while Selena Jaimes was named Defensive Player of the Year.

"I think it's a great honor for the girls to receive the recognition that they truly deserve. Getting four players on the all-conference teams in the strongest conference is a tremendous achievement," Head Coach Ged O'Connor stated about the four athletes earning All-SSC honors. 

Ged O'Connor guided the Lions to an 11-3-1, 7-1-1 SSC record this season while they took home the SSC regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed in the SSC tournament. O'Connor was previously named Coach of the Year in 2011, the last time the Lions won the SSC regular season.

"I must be coach of the year if we just won the strongest conference and we only had two first team all-conference members," O'Connor mentioned after picking up his second SSC Coach of the Year honors. 

Arielle Kabangu is the fifth athlete in the SSC to be named to the First Team All-SSC all four seasons. The Ottawa, Ontario native scored 15 goals and assists on four others for 34 points on the season in 15 regular season games to earn Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career. Kabangu previously was named Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year after her freshman season, in 2013. 

Selena Jaimes earns Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her career and adds First Team honors to her accolades after being previously named Second Team in 2014 and 2015. The Apopka, Florida native led a Saint Leo defense that posted three shutouts and held opponents to .75 goals per game during the second half of the season. Jaimes tallied one goal and three assists on the season for five points. 

Katie Waddell and Genevieve Gignac were selected to the Second Team All-SSC following the 2016 campaign. Waddell returns to the All-SSC team after previously being named a First Team selection in 2014. Gignac is a two-time Second Team All-SSC in back-to-back seasons.

"Well-deserved for two standout athletes in Kabangu and Jaimes," O'Connor added about the Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year award recipients. "Obviously it would've been great for other players to get exposure given the great year, however, coaches see different things in different players."

Player of the Year: Arielle Kabangu, Saint Leo
Offensive Player of the Year: Arielle Kabangu, Saint Leo
Defensive Player of the Year: Selena Jaimes, Saint Leo
Freshman of the Year: Hannah Christophe, Nova Southeastern
Coach of the Year: Ged O'Connor, Saint Leo

Saint Leo returns to action this Friday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at University Soccer Field against Rollins College in the first SSC Tournament Semifinal. Nova Southeastern and Barry will play in the second semifinal at 7 p.m. before the two winners head to the championship match Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's soccer team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.