Amy Annala and Gwen Sabo from the Northern Illinois University women’s soccer team were selected to the Mid-American Conference All-Tournament Team, the league announced on Sunday after Buffalo beat Western Michigan 1-0 in the conference title game at UB Stadium.
Annala (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) and Sabo (Alton, Ill./Alton) become the first NIU selections to the MAC All-Tournament Team since 2007, the last time the Huskies advanced to the MAC Tournament Semifinals.
The Huskies conceded just one goal in 200 minutes of action in the MAC Tournament, largely thanks to Annala’s tremendous saves and Sabo’s composed defending.
NIU head coach John Ross was proud to see his freshman goalkeeper and senior central defender recognized for their clutch play in the postseason.
“We’re proud of what these two players accomplished not just in the MAC Tournament but also this entire year,” Ross said.
“Amy had a fantastic freshman season as our starting goalkeeper in every match, made so many important saves and really stepped up in the penalty shootout at Miami,” he added. “And Gwen had an incredible senior season and anchored our defense, especially in MAC play and in the conference tournament.”
The Huskies became the first No. 7 seed to advance in the MAC Tournament since 2006 when they knocked off No. 2 seed Miami in a penalty-kick shootout last Sunday after the teams played to a scoreless draw over 110 minutes.
NIU was eliminated from contention for the conference title with a 1-0 defeat against Western Michigan on Friday night in Buffalo.
Annala finished with a MAC Tournament-high 13 saves in the postseason, making six saves in the game against Miami before stopping the RedHawks’ first two shooters in the penalty-kick shootout and adding seven more impressive stops against the Broncos.
Sabo made numerous defensive interventions in both matches to protect Annala, using her tremendous ability to read the game and well-time challenges to negate attacks from the RedHawks and Broncos.
NIU finished the 2014 season with a 6-11-4 record after its best postseason run in seven years.
For more information on NIU women’s soccer and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.