Elise Krieghoff’s 21 goals already lead the nation, helped the Cal Poly women’s soccer team snag a regular-season Big West Conference title and set a new Mustangs single-season record.
Another accomplishment rolled in Tuesday, and this one broke new ground, too.
Krieghoff became the first Cal Poly player to be named Big West Offensive Player of the Year and seven others were recognized when conference honors were announced.
The Mustangs (11-7-0, 7-1-0 Big West), who open the conference tournament as the top seed against No. 4 Cal State Fullerton and conference Goalkeeper of the Year Lindsey Maricic and Midfielder of the Year Erica Mazeau in a Thursday semifinal in Fullerton, have built a reputation as a defensive team.
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Cal Poly’s Gina Oceguera was named Big West Player of the Year in 1997, and the former Mexican World Cup player was a forward, but the Mustangs have not had a conference offensive player of the year since the Big West jettisoned its player of the year award for the current format beginning in 2001.
Since then, the Mustangs have had four players win six defensive player of the year awards, two goalkeepers of the year and one midfielder of the year.
Krieghoff’s 21 goals are one more than three other players across the country and broke Cal Poly’s record of 15 set by Kolleen Kassis in the program’s inaugural season in 1992.
The Mustangs advanced to the Division II national title game that season, and Kassis was named outstanding offensive player of the NCAA Tournament.
Krieghoff’s total is also third all-time on the conference list and four shy of the overall record of 25 set by UC Santa Barbara’s Krystal Sandza in 2002.
Krieghoff was joined on the Big West first team by senior midfielder and teammate Haley Walker. Four other Mustangs — freshman forward Megan Abutin, senior defenders Cristina Farrington and Jordyn Zander and sophomore goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti — were all chosen for the second team.
Senior midfielder Kacey Held was an honorable mention, and Abutin also made the all-freshman team.
UC Irvine’s Zoya Farzaneh was the Defensive Player of the Year, Long Beach State’s Mimi Rangel was the Freshman of the Year, and UC Riverside’s Nat Gonzalez was the Coach of the Year.