NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of Belmont women's soccer players received postseason honors from the Atlantic Sun All-Conference bringing the program's tally to 14 of players to garner the recognition. Junior defender Gretchen Sutch (Knoxville, Tenn.) was named Second Team while rookie goalkeeper Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) was named to the All-Freshman Team. The awards marked the sixth consecutive season at least two Bruins have earned nods to the elite team.
"I think Gretchen and Nicole are both deserving of their awards. They were two of our most consistent players all season," said Head Coach Lisa Howe.
This is junior Gretchen Sutch's (Knoxville, Tenn.) second consecutive season earning postseason honors from the Atlantic Sun after coming away with a First Team nod last year. She was one of only four Bruins to start and play in every game in 2010, logging over 1,300 minutes in the back. In fact, the dependable defender has played in every game over last three years to move into a tie for 18th in all-time games started at Belmont. Sutch wrapped her junior campaign tied for third on the team in goals scored after netting one against Arkansas State … Played 90+ minutes on nine occasions
"This is Gretchen's second year in a row to receive an All-Conference award. She is one of the best all-around defenders in the Atlantic-Sun. She is difficult to beat on the dribble because of her physical style of defending. She is excellent in the air and keeps the ball in front of her and clears crosses out of the back," Howe said. "Gretchen gets forward for us better than any of our backs and provides us with many scoring opportunities with her left foot. Gretchen is our Cal Ripken, Jr. We rely on her day after day, practice after practice, and game after game. Gretchen's consistency and dependability makes her our most valuable player."
In her first collegiate season, Nicole Berner (Randolph, N.J.) battled to become Belmont's top netminder, finishing with nearly 1,100 minutes between the posts. She wrapped her first season as a Bruin with a 5-5 record, starting the last eight consecutive matches in goal for BU. The Randolph, N.J. native finished high statistically among the A-Sun's best goalkeepers, coming in ranked eighth in both GAA (1.32) and shutouts (2), and ninth in save percentage (.714), saves (40) and saves per game (2.86). Berner played more than 90 minutes on three occasions, only allowing one goal in last 199 minutes of season.
"Nicole had a great freshman year. She showed up at pre-season ready to play and compete. Nicole handled the pressure of being a freshman goalkeeper on a team with high expectations very well. She is an excellent shot stopper. She kept us in a lot of games, and gave us a chance to win every conference game," Howe said. "Nicole will just improve after this experience. Most conference teams have upperclassmen goalkeepers, and Nicole gives us stability in this position while the other teams will experience transition in goal."
Belmont finished it's 2010 campaign with a 5-11 overall record and a 4-6 mark in Atlantic Sun play.