Seniors Recognized For Service at Dinner
    Kendall VanDine was Player of the Year and the Bulldog Award recipient.
    Kendall VanDine was Player of the Year and the Bulldog Award recipient.

    Feb. 12, 2012

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    FRESNO, Calif. - Underclassmen recounted stories from past seasons and the four seniors were given their walking shoes at the Fresno State women's soccer banquet Saturday night.

    The Bulldogs said thank you and goodbye to Laura Dodd, Rachel Pickett, Molly Nizzoli and Kendall VanDine after the foursome proudly sported the Green V for four years.

    The seniors have been a part of 37 Bulldog wins, two Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships and made two NCAA tournament appearances. They account for 26 WAC honors presented to Bulldogs over the past four years.

    "I never had to push them to be better," said head coach Brian Zwaschka of the seniors. "It's a decision that these girls made. I am very proud to have been their coach."

    Three awards were distributed during the ceremony. The student-athletes voted for both the Most Improved Player and the Player of the Year, while the coaches determined the Bulldog Award recipient.

    Voting for most improved was extremely close. While sophomores Riley Fielder and Kayla Kret were finalists, it was fellow sophomore Megan Mossman who walked away with the honor.

    Mossman went from taking only six shots, one on goal, in nine matches played during her freshman year, to appearing in all 21 matches for the Bulldogs, earning 15 starts in 2011. She finished her sophomore season with 14 shots, five on goal, and recorded her first assist in over 1,200 minutes played.

    There were six finalist for the Player of the Year award. Among them were the three seniors, junior Callie Hancock, who set records and led the team in goals, and freshman Katie DeVault, who has already placed herself in Bulldog history after starting in goal last season.

    The team determined three-year captain VanDine deserved the honor.  

    VanDine started in all 21 matches during the season and played a full 1,996 minutes, never substituting off the pitch. She was the cornerstone in a defense that recorded 10 shutouts and was ranked top 50 nationally for shutout percentage.

    For her tireless commitment to and leadership within the program, the coaches determined VanDine was also the Bulldog Award recipient for 2011.

    "We purposefully did not write out the criteria for this," said Zwaschka of the Bulldog Award. "If I had to describe it, it would be with words like fight, smart, personability and courage. Just pages and pages of words about this young lady. Kenny is our Bulldog."

    VanDine was only the second Bulldog in program history to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American. She has logged 7,756 game time minutes in her career, the equivalent of over 179 hours.

    The four-time Academic All-WAC defender has been named to All-WAC teams seven times in her career.

    "We all have big shoes to fill," said Vanessa Gonzalez, one of two juniors on the squad.

    The Bulldogs lost a number of student-athletes during the 2011 season.

    "I have the utmost respect for the ones who fought until the end," said Zwaschka. "I know we are good enough to compete with anyone, anytime, anywhere and I can't wait until the world sees that. I am very proud of the 2011 season because we played exceptionally well and that's just the beginning."

    "We Are Your Team!" There is still time to learn from the some of the best coaches in college soccer. The Bulldogs have a Residential Camp coming June 26-29. You can stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).

     

     

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