It's A Vavic Sweep Of Top MPSF Honors
May 1, 2013
Vavic domination is alive and well at USC, with the Trojan's father-daughter duo headlining a powerful group of Women of Troy on the MPSF honor roll for 2013. Fresh of winning a third MPSF Tournament championship and now bound for a 10th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, USC has packed five players on the list for All-MPSF awards. Topping the charts for 2013 is USC head coach Jovan Vavic, who has been named MPSF Women's Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career. Sophomore Monica Vavic, meanwhile, has landed honors as this year's MPSF Player of the Year, with her fellow Trojan teammates Flora Bolonyai, Anni Espar, Kaleigh Gilchrist and Hannah Buckling also on the All-MPSF honors lists.
Bolonyai, Espar and Monica Vavic have all landed on the All-MPSF First Team; Gilchrist has All-MPSF Second Team honors; and Buckling has earned All-MPSF Honorable Mention. Buckling and Espar are also on the All-MPSF Newcomer Team.
The previous three MPSF Women's Coach of the Year awards for Jovan Vavic have been followed by national championships. The MPSF Coach of the Year on the women's side in 1999, 2004 and 2010, Vavic now adds the 2013 award to his laundry list of honors. As coach of the USC men and women, Vavic has now hauled in a grand total of 10 MPSF Coach of the Year accolades. That goes along with 11 national championships to date, as the USC women now go in pursuit of their fourth national title. To date, the USC men and women have won national championships three times in the same school year -- 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2009-10 -- as Vavic and his crew takes aim at making it a 2012-13 sweep this season. Vavic carries a career coaching record of 434-132 (.767) on the women's side with USC into the 2013 NCAA Championships, held May 10-12 in Boston, Mass. At 24-1 overall, the Women of Troy have already recorded their 15th 20-win season in program history, with these 24 wins standing as the most in a season since 2010 when USC last won the NCAA title.
In just under two seasons of action, sophomore Monica Vavic already has a body of work that has put her in the USC history books. As the 2013 MPSF Player of the Year, Vavic has picked up the Trojans' ninth MPSF Player of the Year award. She leads the conference in scoring with 2.84 goals per game to date, having scored in every game to hold a whopping 71 goals for a count that ranks her No. 4 all-time at USC in single-season scoring and puts her in striking distance of the top-three by year's end. Also an All-MPSF First Team selection as a freshman, Vavic has continued to impress on both ends of the pool, standing out as a key distributor and defensive force for the Trojans in addition to providing key goals. She struck nine in the MPSF Tournament last weekend to bump her career count up to 110 goals and earn her a repeat spot on the MPSF All-Tournament Team. Last year, Vavic was the first USC true freshman since 1999 to be named First Team All-American and All-MPSF.
The indisputable backbone of the USC defense is junior goalie Flora Bolonyai. Bolonyai returned from the 2012 Olympic Games ready for action, and has stood tall for the Trojans all season long. Already a two-time All-American entering her junior season, Bolonyai now has her first spot on the 2013 All-MPSF First Team, following second-team selection last year. She's averaging 7.9 saves and 5.0 goals-against per game entering the 2013 NCAA Championships. Last weekend, she picked up the pace even more with just under 10 saves per game at the MPSF Tournament, including a clutch 5-meter penalty stop against Stanford in the title match. She also was named an NCAA.com Player to Watch to start this season.
True freshman Anni Espar came to Troy with the bar already raised high, standing out as a 2012 Olympic silver medalist and the second leading scorer at the London Games. The Spanish star was a quick fit in the USC gameplan, and she shines as one of USC's deftest distributor as well as a defensive-savvy player who very clearly has the ability to score. With 25 goals to date, she's averaging 1.8 goals per game. She now opens her USC career with honors on the All-MPSF First Team and the All-MPSF Newcomer Team, going along with her spot on the MPSF All-Tournament Team and with MPSF Player of the Week accolades earlier this year.
USC's second leading scorer this season, junior Kaleigh Gilchrist was a lock on the All-MPSF Second Team. With 41 goals to date, Gilchrist went big in USC's opening game of the MPSF Tournament last weekend. Her career-best five goals carried the junior past the 100 career goal mark. She was an All-American and All-MPSF Second Team honoree in 2012. This year, she was named MPSF Player of the Week for the second time in her USC career.
USC newcomer Hannah Buckling has definitely found her place at Troy. Recently named MPSF Tournament MVP after providing seven huge goals for the Trojans last weekend, Buckling solidified honors on the All-MPSF Honorable Mention list as well as the All-MPSF Newcomer Team in her first season as a Trojan. She matched her season best of four goals in USC's dominating MPSF Championship win over Stanford, and now stands as USC's third leading scorer to date with 33 goals. The Australian import also was named MPSF Newcomer of the Week earlier this season.
MPSF award winners are voted upon by MPSF head coaches. Coaches do not vote for any members of their own team.
For complete MPSF honors lists, go to mpsports.org.