MELBOURNE, Fla. – The Sunshine State Conference (SSC) announced its major awards and all-conference honorees for women’s soccer this week. Senior forward Marem Ndiongue, senior goalkeeper Ayana Aoyagi, and head coach Ryan Moon earned major awards while the team had 11 players selected to the All-SSC teams.
In addition to the women, the SSC announced that six scholar-athletes on the men’s soccer team were among the list of honorees. Read the full article.
For the women, Ndiongue was named the SSC Offensive Player of the Year for the 2023 season. The Italian native led the conference with 23 points and 10 goals in league play. Overall, she totaled 32 points, 13 goals, and six assists during the regular season. All three of these numbers currently sit second all-time in the Panther record books for a single season. The senior is also ranked fourth nationally in points per game (2.46) and fifth nationally in goals per game (1.00). This is Ndiongue’s third All-SSC selection after she was named to the Second Team in both 2021 and 2022. She also joins Teresa Brantley [Moon] (’09) as the only Panthers in program history to be named SSC Offensive Player of the Year.
Aoyagi was selected as the first-ever SSC Goalkeeper of the Year after a standout senior season. Starting all 16 games for the Panthers, Aoyagi anchored Tech’s defense after she recorded the second-lowest goals-against average (0.46) in program history, which led the league this season, and ranks 15th nationally among Division II goalkeepers. The senior recorded six shutouts and allowed just seven goals in almost 1400 minutes in the net for the Panthers.
Moon earned the SSC Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Panthers to a 12-1-3 overall record, with an 8-1-1 record in the conference, and the second regular-season title in program history. The Panthers led the SSC in goals (39), goals against (8), scoring margin (2.44), and opponent shots on goal (42). Tech’s 12 regular season wins were also the most since the 2009 season which saw the Panthers earn 14 wins prior to the postseason. This is the first SSC Coach of the Year honors for Tech in program history.
Sophomore defender Kajsa Ekstrom joined Ndiongue and Aoyagi on the All-SSC First Team. This is the second All-SSC selection for her after she also earned Second Team honors in 2022. Ekstrom bolstered a Panthers backline that boasted the best goals-against average in the SSC (0.50) and held opponents to just 42 shots on goal. The Sweden native also chipped in one assist during the season.
Graduate midfielder Daniela Tobon and senior defender Katherine Cunningham landed on the All-SSC Second Team.
Tobon earned the first All-SSC selection of her career and was a force to reckon with in the midfield for the Panthers. The graduate student started and played in 15 of the 16 matches for Tech and logged over 1100 minutes on the pitch. The Weston, Fla. native facilitated scoring opportunities all season long for the Panthers and chipped in one goal and three assists during the season.
Cunningham also lands on the All-SSC team for the first time in her career. The defender worked the ball on both halves of the field all season. She started all 16 games for the Panthers, logged over 1000 minutes, and was part of one of the best backlines in Division II. On the offensive end, the London, England native chipped in one goal and was tied for second on the team in assists with four.
Forwards Josefine Nilsen and Lauryn Wood, midfielders Savannah Oxley and Sara Batchadji, and defenders Halla Helgadottir and Lydia Carroll earned All-SSC Third Team honors.
Nilsen lands on the All-SSC team for the first time in her career. A three-time all-conference selection at Flagler, in her first season with the Panthers, the graduate transfer made an immediate impact on the offensive end of the field. In 14 starts with 15 appearances, she scored two goals and added two assists.
Wood earned her first All-SSC selection after a breakout sophomore campaign. Starting in 15 matches and appearing in all 16, the Preston, England native finished second on the team with 14 points and six goals while also adding two assists.
Oxley claimed the first All-SSC selection of her career after she started in 11 matches, appeared in all 16, and logged nearly 1200 minutes on the pitch. The Melbourne, Fla. native finished tied for third on the team in points (11) and goals (5) and added an assist on the season.
Batchadji is one of just four freshmen to make one of the All-SSC teams. Appearing in all 16 games for Tech, the German native made her presence felt in her first year. In just under 700 minutes, she totaled 11 points on four goals and three assists.
Helgadottir and Carroll round out the All-SSC selections for the Panthers, both earning the honor for the first time in their careers. Both players started every game for Tech and have totaled over 1400 minutes on the pitch each. They completed the backline for the Panthers’ defense that held opponents to just eight goals all season. On the offensive side of the field, Helgadottir chipped in two goals and an assist while Carroll added two assists.
As the top seed in the SSC Tournament, the Panthers will host fifth-seeded Eckerd in the semifinal round on Thursday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Rick Stottler Field in Melbourne.